M&S covers most trends and adapts them to its customers, but the store looks tired.
Autograph works this season’s minimalist look with shift dresses. Lace prints on dresses and jackets and a standout military-style coat also tick the trend boxes. Portfolio plumps for leopard print on blouses, as does the M&S mainline. For outerwear, Per Una delivers with pea coats, parkas and macs.
With Primark only across the road and setting the standards for great windows and store layout, M&S lets the side down. If shoppers enter from The Horsefair end of the store, they have to navigate through the food section to get to the clothing area, some of which is downstairs and the rest upstairs - where it feels much more like a clothing department. Sub-brands and product are clearly signposted but the store could do with a serious refresh.
Portfolio offers good value with a leopard-print, polyester blouse at £29.50 and basic jersey tops from £16, while shift dresses at Autograph look good at £39.50. Elasticated waistbands on jeans and trousers in the Classic section start from £15 and floral cotton tops are just under £20. The military-style coat is a respectable £99 and pure cashmere jumpers retail for £59. But one customer told Drapers she was disappointed by the lack of higher quality fabrications.