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M&S customers slam womenswear offer

Disgruntled consumers have slammed the women’s clothing offer from Marks & Spencer, emploring it to “listen to its customers”.

Customers commenting on an M&S forum - created to allow customers to quiz fashion expert and Per Una consultant Hilary Alexander - have inundated the site complaining about the quality and fit of its ranges.

One post left on March 28 said: “I decided to come over here and leave some comments for Hilary as to where I would like to see M&S going, and what’s wrong with the current range, but it seems to have all been said – poor quality, inconsistent sizing, cheap and nasty fabrics, frumpy patterns, not enough bright colour, nothing for the older woman, etc.”

Another post added: “M&S are not realising that the more mature women is probably their best potential customer.”

One shopper even used the forum to urge the retailer to listen to its customers.

“We want to buy but you seem to cater for stick thin youngsters who would never buy in M&S. Will you ever listen to we the customers?,” she wrote. “Please, please listen to your customers”

M&S has suffered a slump in sales of general merchandise over the last year with womenswear said to have been particularly hard hit.

Over the 13 weeks to December 29 like-for-like GM sales were down 3.8%.

Yesterday Drapers reported that the retailer expected to see another fall in its GM sales when it reports its results for the three months to March 30, next week.

An M&S spokesperson said: “It’s great to see that so many of our customers are Asking Hilary – that’s exactly why we are working with her as our new per una Fashion Consultant.

“We always value feedback from our customers on our products and services. Quality remains at the heart of our offer and we’ll be looking in to any issues raised.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • Good luck to ASOS?!?

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  • It seems to me that M&S is too easy a target for both press and consumers. It gets criticised so it reacts. Then it gets slammed by those who don't like the reaction. So it reacts again and it gets slammed by the opposite side. It can't win can it?

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  • My view is that M&S has no clear customer segmentation and therefore no well researched and targeted design to fit the different profiles and has as a result lost it's USP.

    There is clearly no confidence from within about the women's product ranges and who they are aimed at, as they change direction continually and the quality of the design varies wildly this is a major brand positioning mistake, they must research the market and decide what they stand for and stick to it - as they do with food.

    Weak representation of clear target customer groups in marketing campaigns makes things even worse and loses the confidence of their potential and previous customers.
    M&S is large enough to have more than one target woman, but the ranges must be clearly defined without condescending marketing and they need to understand what level of quality is expected and stop under estimating the consumer's product knowledge.

    A small example of their lack of attention to quality and design consistency can be seen by comparing women's footwear and tailoring and men's footwear and tailoring. How can one brand have such differing propositions?

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  • Needs a retailer in charge, not a lager man.....

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