That stalwart of the high street, Marks and Spencer, has announced that 100 accumulates will close by 2022.
Falling auctions – and the shift to online shopping – has stirred it harder to justify keeping them all open.
So “whats being” M& S do to avoid further endings and entice more parties back into its accumulates?
We questioned buyers, a retail commentator and a style blogger for their advice.
“What do I like[ about M& S ]? That’s a touchy one, ” says Bayley Freer.
She went in to look for shoes because she ponders M& S does “sometimes have substance that can be quite cool from a pattern perspective”.
Alas , good-for-nothing caught her see. Bayley often browses at M& S for food – but not often for fashion.
“I’ve find the peculiar portion which I’ve liked, but generally I’m more disappointed than I am happy with the clothes in there.”
Sometimes it’s the textile tone, sometimes the colourings are “off-kilter”, and sometimes they’ve “put odd detailing on” when they should have lodged to a more simple pattern.
Bayley also thinks the presentation of the shoes requirement changing: “It’s a little bit off-putting to go in and see racks and racks and racks of shoes – it’s a bit warehousey. I feel as though I’m merely buying something that’s simply part of a batch, a big batch.”
Jeremy Schwartz has worked at Coca Cola, News International, L’Oreal and Sainsbury’s. Until late last year he was chief executive of the Body Shop – another brand that has struggled but has now returned to growth. So what would he recommend for M& S?
“Big, heritage labels just gaze out-of-date, slow and lack an image of innovation, ” he says.
Management needs to overcome its fear of the bold and do some big changes, Jeremy lends. “Transform the huge M& S robe storeys into dramatically discreet, character-full, personality-rich ‘independent stores’ to create an emporium of discovery.”
Customers are looking for both authenticity and modernity, astonishing appreciate but too luxury, he says.
Choose one particular product category and genuinely go to city, Jeremy hints, creating a “palace of couture” – but likewise give significance basics, such as “5 0p underwear that you can’t help telling your friends about”.
“The alternative is slow, or even accelerating wane, ” he reminds.
M& S does have an extremely loyal client base, but even they are calling for changes, says Kate Hardcastle, the founding fathers of retail consultancy Insight with Passion.
She says for years purchasers have been telling the retailer to re-engineer the basics such as underwear, T-shirts and suits.
Kate also thinks they could learn from the success of the PS10 meal deal and their attractivenes onset calendar, which stood for “luxury at an affordable price”. Why not furnish more advertisings in homeware and manner?
And as for way? “They were so tone-deaf with their patrons that their tie-ups with luminaries like Alexa Chung have been off-key, ” she says. Alexa Chung’s suede hem was a big hit at the time, but Kate doesn’t thoughts awareness-raising campaigns cultivated in the long run.
“M& S is for the masses – but they need to streamline the straddle. Patrons will still rave about a certain concoction – like black tights for wintertime, their thermal collection or men’s chinos and they should have worked their ‘magic’ in these areas.”
Stephanie Roper was a graduate manager for M& S after leaving university 15 years ago. But its intolerance of creativity stimulated her to leave after 12 months to join H& M.
She still doesn’t recollect M& S is getting it right: “A couple of years ago waterfall cardigans is intrinsically fashionable – those are cardigans with a curve of fabric down the front. They’re very good to conceal a paunch. M& S did it to fatality – in denim, satin, linen.”
“John Lewis, Topshop, Debenhams, all volunteer personal styling, providing one to one the recommendations on putting outfits together. M& S is missing a ruse if they don’t start implementing that right now, ” she says.
Stephanie recommends M& S could volunteer a classic collect includes the perfect jeans, grey shirt, cashmere jumper and trench coat in a limited range of classic colours – and add a piece every season from the repository.
Lingerie should be M& ‘Ss forte, but exploiting “stick-thin” supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to advertise underwear could be putting off the average buyer, she considers. “I’d do a tie-in with a plus-size blogger be demonstrating M& S think if you’re length 16 you’re totally normal[ to say] we’ll acquire you the right bra and gasps and celebrate your figure.”
Janet, Pamela and Alexis from the US go to M& S every time they see the UK. There doesn’t seem to be anything they’d change about the brand.
“Any time we come, we always come to Marks and Spencer, every time we call, ” says Janet.
“It’s got a variety of things – the foodstuff, the clothing wire, everything is alright, ” says Pamela.
Alexis agrees: “The quality of the clothing is good, the quality of the meat is good, and the prices are right.
Janet includes: “We’re thinking of getting our dinner here. They have a neat nutrient sphere, and it’s all packed nicely.”
The only change they crave is swelling. “Bring it to America ., ” says Alexis. “I’ll be there for the grand opening.”
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