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Marks & Spencer

Chasing price is the wrong direction for a trusted brand

Product 5

Some key looks are here including biker boots, studded pumps and some purple platforms with jewelled vamps, but some 50% of the department leans towards classic black and brown loafers and classic boot styles, which feel way behind rival Next. What fashion styles there are, are just not quite right in terms of shape. Autograph is better though with classy looking black and grey suede courts.

Experience 4

This is a vast self-service department with some clever merchandising to entice the older shopper. Fashion biker boots are displayed next to classic boots with subtle buckle details to soften the trend but this will affect credibility with younger customers. The use of M&S’s sub-brands remains slightly confusing, particularly when its Footglove comfort brand is given space at various touch points in the department rather than displayed as one strong statement.

Value 4

M&S seems to be chasing price at the expense of quality. Surprisingly, many of the boots are synthetic, with £39.50 a key price point. This is M&S though and shoppers would surely pay a little more for leather. Fashion styles come in at about £29.50, including a mixed material pink, snake and purple platform sandal in the Limited Collection range. A version of the Ugg boot is £15 while on-trend biker boots are £35. Prices stretch for Autograph with courts at £45 but this looks justified against M&S’s rivals.

Score 13

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