The new CEO of Marks & Spencer, Steve Rowe, has pledged to lure “Mrs M&S” from its fashion rivals in a new bid to reverse declining sales.
The plan involves getting rid of repetitive capsule collections; improving style, fit and quality; and pleasing the company’s loyal customer.
“Mrs M&S, we need to cherish and celebrate her and give her what she needs,” Rowe told the BBC Radio’s Today programme, reports the London Evening Standard.
His comments came as pre-tax profits fell by almost a fifth in the 53 weeks to April 2 to £488.8 million.
He added: “Our customers look to M&S not for fashion trends but for accessible products they can wear with confidence.”
“Quality will remain central to our thinking. Whether buying T-shirts or dresses; socks or suits; vests or school uniform, our customers will recognise M&S has returned to being famous for unrivalled quality.”
But the new vision hasn’t impressed corporate finance group Livingstone.
Partner Simon Cope-Thompson said: “New CEO, but unfortunately the same old story for M&S – revamping the retailer’s lacklustre fashion offering to provide something consumers will finally get excited about is the rock that just keeps rolling back down the mountain. M&S has made repeated attempts to widen its appeal to a younger audience, with little lasting success.
“Rowe claims to now know who the M&S customer is. The reality is that their core customer probably hasn’t changed; what has is the competitive environment on the High Street. M&S has tried to keep up, but the pace of industry changes has left it lagging behind.”