That pillar of the high street, Marks and Spencer, has announced that 100 convenience stores by 2022.
The decline in sales and the shift to online shopping – it is difficult to justify the maintenance of all open.
So what can M&S do to avoid further closures and to attract more people to its stores?
We asked the buyers, a retail analyst and fashion blogger, for their advice.The young shopper: “to Change the layout of the store,”
“What I love [about the M&S]? This is a difficult question,” said Bayley freer.
She went to look for shoes because she thinks that M&S don’t “sometimes have stuff that can be pretty cool from a design point of view”.
Alas, nothing caught his attention. Bayley often the stores of M&S for food – but not often to the mode.
“I have found the odd piece that I liked, but in general, I am more disappointed than I am happy with the clothes there.”
Sometimes, it is the quality of the fabric, sometimes the colors are “out of kilter”, and sometimes, they put “the strange detailing on” when they should have stuck to a simpler structure.
Bayley also think the presentation of the shoe should change: “This is a little off-putting to go and see the racks and racks and racks of shoes – it’s a bit warehousey. I feel as if I’m just trying to buy something that is just a part of a lot, a big lot.”The industry veteran: ’50p underpants”
Jeremy Schwartz has worked at the Coca-Cola, News International, L’oreal and Sainsbury’s. Until the end of last year, he has been chief executive officer of the Body Shop is another brand that has struggled, but is now back to growth. Then, what would he recommend for M&S?
“Great, heritage brands just look dated, slow and lacking an image of innovation,” he says.
The direction must overcome his fear of the bold and make big changes, Jeremy adds. “Transforming the huge M&S clothing floors in substantially discrete, the complete character, the personality-rich ‘independent stores’ to create an emporium of discovery.”
Customers are looking for authenticity and modernity, an incredible value, but also of luxury, ” he said.
Choose a particular product category and really go to town, Jeremy suggests, the creation of a “palace of the sewing” – but also provides the base value, such as “50p underwear that you can’t say to your friends”.
“The alternative is slow, or even accelerating decline,” he warns. The retail analyst: “the Streamline range
M&S have a loyal customer base, but still, they call for changes, ” says Kate Hardcastle, founder of retail consultants Insight with Passion.
She said for years, customers have told the retailer to review the basics, such as underwear, T-shirts and costumes.
Rex Features and Marks and Spencer
Kate also think they could learn from the success of the £10 meal deal and their beauty advent calendar, which stood for “luxury at an affordable price”. Why not offer more promotions in the shopping and fashion?
And as for the mode? “They were so tone-deaf with their customers that their tie-ups with celebrities such as Alexa Chung have been out of the key,” she said. Alexa Chung’s suede skirt was a bit hit at the time, but Kate doesn’t think that the campaign has worked in the long term.
“M&S is for the masses – but they need to streamline the range. Guests will still rave about a certain product, such as black tights for the winter, their thermal of the collection or men’s chinos and they should have worked their magic in these areas.”Fashion blogger of the introduction of “personal shoppers”
Stephanie Roper was a graduate manager for M&S after I left the university 15 years ago. But his intolerance of creativity was asked to leave the premises after 12 months to join H&M.
She does not think that M&S is to do things well: “A few years ago, waterfall cardigans were really in fashion these cardigans with a wave of fabric on the front. They are very good for hiding a belly. M&S has been done to death – in denim, satin, linen.”
“John Lewis, Topshop, Debenhams, offer all of your style staff, in providing a board to put outfits together. M&S is missing a trick if they don’t start implementing this right now,” she said.
Stephanie suggests that M&S could offer a classic collection, including the perfect jeans, white shirt, cashmere sweater and trench coat in a limited range of classic colours – and add a piece of each season-from the archive.
The Lingerie must be M&S strong, but with the help of a “stick-thin” supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to advertise under-garments could be the average buyer, she thinks. “I’d do a tie-in with a plus-size blogger to show them that M&S think that if you are size 16 you are quite normal [to say], we’ll find you the correct bra and pants and celebrate your figure.”The tourists: ‘giving America’
Janet, Pamela and Alexis from the US go to M&S every time they visit the UK. It does not seem to be anything that they would change the brand.
“Every time we come, we still have Marks and Spencer, each time we visit,” says Janet.
“There are a variety of things – the food, the clothing line, all is well,” says Pamela.
Alexis agrees: “The quality of the clothes is good, the quality of the food is good, and the prices are right.
Janet adds: “We are thinking of doing our dinner here. They have a nice food area, and it is all packaged nicely.”
The only change they want is the expansion. “Bring it to America.,” said Alexis. “I’ll be there for the inauguration.”