British retailer Marks & Spencer said today it had launched 46 websites in new markets, expanding its online reach to over 100 countries. 

The group said the expansion into countries from Argentina and Brazil to South Korea and Pakistan was part of its strategy to accelerate its online business. 

When M&S published first-half results in November it reported a 75% increase in international e-commerce sales, underlining the shift in online spend throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

"We're focused on turbocharging our online business both in the UK and internationally, and as part of this we see a real opportunity in extending the number of countries where we run an online channel further," said Paul Friston, M&S's international director. 

The websites will offer M&S's clothing and home products.

In January, rival John Lewis said it was no longer pursuing international expansion and had ceased its online delivery service. 

M&S, which also sells food, has been hit hard by the pandemic as lockdowns have closed most of its clothing space.