M&S to open lingerie boutiques on Continent

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The Independent Online

Marks & Spencer has revealed plans to compete in the chic world of European underwear by opening a string of new lingerie boutiques on the Continent selling only the M&S brand.

Marks & Spencer has revealed plans to compete in the chic world of European underwear by opening a string of new lingerie boutiques on the Continent selling only the M&S brand.

However, the troubled high street giant will not use its own name but will enigmatically mark the women's underwear "msl" to stand for "Marks & Spencer lingerie".

M&S is investing £1m in the first stores, which will be opened next month in Paris, Hamburg and Dusseldorf. If they are successful, the group plans to launch more boutiques.

About 25 per cent of the msl range will be specially designed for the new boutiques. The rest will be made up from the existing collection, which includes the Salon Rose line designed by Agent Provocateur, makers of sexy women's underwear.

An M&S spokesperson said: "There are no plans ... to change the image of the underwear - it will be a mix of traditional and the new range. But that may change when we see what the customer profile is."

M&S does not intend to roll out the boutiques to the UK at the moment, as its 300 stores already sell underwear here. The retailer already sells its underwear in continental Europe, but only through 30 general stores.

Separately M&S said that it is launching its first ever designer menswear collection, which will be available from today in five UK stores including the flagship Marble Arch branch.

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