Marks & Spencer has reshuffled its womenswear teams to focus on product type rather than brand, to better suit its customer needs.
Marks & Spencer
The changes were announced internally last week and affect a “couple of hundred” people across design, buying and merchandising in the womenswear department, led by director of womenswear Jo Jenkins. No redundancies have been made as a result of the changes.
The teams will now buy by product rather than by brand and range as they have done previously. For example, whereas once there would have been an Autograph buyer, now there will be a buyer responsible for casual tops or knitwear, who will buy across all brands.
An M&S spokesperwoman said: “Our womenswear teams are now organised by product type rather than by brand and range. This better reflects the way our customers shop with us and puts our customers’ view at the heart of our product decision making.
“In simple terms, it means that there will be one team responsible for designing and buying all of one type of product for our customers. For example, all of our trousers, whether they are M&S Collection, Autograph or Per Una, will be bought by the same team.”
The product areas are: jersey, woven, outerwear, dresses, knitwear, denim and casual bottoms, tailoring and formal bottoms, footwear, accessories and jewellery.
There have been no changes to the men’s and kidswear departments, a spokeswoman confirmed.
M&S’s chief executive Steve Rowe decided to retain direct control of its ailing general merchandise business earlier this month, telling staff that improving the clothing division was his “number one” priority.
On April 7, M&S revealed general merchandise sales fell by 2.7% on a like-for-like basis for the 13 weeks to March 26 compared to the same period last year.