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Will Marks & Spencer’s find their way in retail fashion again?

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This Summer, Marks & Spencer, announced that its clothing arm suffered its worst sales performance ever and this morning the high street retailer has announced that the store is planning to pull the shutter up on 60 stores

This raised a few eyebrows amongst the Straco team this morning and promoted us to question, why is one of Britain’s longest established retailers underperforming so much when they offer customers quality fashion fronted by leading British models including Alexa Chung, David Gandy and Rosie Huntington-Whitley?

The Straco verdict was:

  1. Customers can’t find their way

On a recent trip to sparks, our lovely boss Simon was hoping to pick up some “David Gandy bulge enhancing underpants” (his words, not ours) and despite looking high and low he could not find them. With visible point of sale pushing the range, Simon might have found his way, but instead he gave up and has to wait to see what he gets in his stocking this Christmas.

  1. Less choice in lingerie

Hailed as one of the best quality brands for lingerie, Sinead’s (Straco Sales & Marketing Manager) recent in-store experience disappointed when she visited the Meadowhall store for their popular bra-fit service. Being informed by a sales assistant that their range of DD+ bras had been streamlined, Sinead walked away with only one set. Growing up taking her Mothers advice that  M & S offer some of the best quality bras on the UK high street Sinead no-longer has M& S as her ‘go-to’ brand for bras!

  1. Limited till points

Whilst Marks & Spencer’s offer light and spacious surroundings for shoppers, we all shared the same viewpoint that more till points are needed in store to prevent customers abandoning. In a multi-department environment,  should Marks & Spencer reconsider in-store design (particularly in older store formats) by dedicating more floor space to include mini till-points? Or does the brand need to think mobile-first? By equipping sales assistants with iPad and PDQ machines to help assist customers across the shop floor.

The latest news definitely sent sparks flying this morning and is likely to raise questions  with consumers about future of M & S brand. Will consumers lose confidence with the brand overall? Will families sit down for their tea tonight and begin to make surface comparisons with the demise of BHS? Whilst many of the stores will be turning into Simply Food (lots of love for sparks food here at Straco by the waywe really hope that Marks can find their way again in the fashion retail stakes.

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