This week Marks and Spencer reported a 64% drop in their profits. It’s no surprise to their regulars and here’s why. On Saturday I was horrified with the window displays. They were ghastly! Bright pink Victoria Beckham style tent dresses with flared sleeves, countryfied print dresses only a six foot Flake advert girl could pull off and maxi dresses made for giants. As a long serving customer of M&S I feel qualified to say- they’ve lost the plot.
Regardless of the pelmet size skirts, their version of “cutting edge” fashion and the pair of shoes aka Sex and the City, the powers that be within the company need to take a look around their stores to identify their customer base. With little exception, in the North East it’s the over forties with a vast percentage of retired or almost retired well dressed customers. Nothing will attract the younger generation to move away from Top Shop or Miss Selfridge so the company needs to focus on what their loyal customers really want. And it’s not ruffles or fluffles , crumples or rumples, baggy or shaggy. What we really want is well designed office wear, well cut suits, dresses and skirts with linings and flair, business style trousers, variations of gorgeous shirts and blouses, jackets and finally casual wear that doesn’t look as if it’s been heaped in a suitcase for a month. Throw in some mid range wool and cashmere coats with a gorgeous classic mid length trench coat then abracadabra the M&S faithful would be back in a shot. Until then, every time I visit Spain I’ll take a look in Punt Roma for skirts that don’t crease, swing when I walk and beautifully cut dresses that never crease. We want to buy British so come on M&S.