Rose: Marks is formal, middle-class and boring

Click to follow

It was back to basics yesterday for Stuart Rose, the Marks & Spencer chief executive, when it came to explaining how he was going to fix M&S, a store chain which he admitted was seen as "formal, middle-class and boring".

It was back to basics yesterday for Stuart Rose, the Marks & Spencer chief executive, when it came to explaining how he was going to fix M&S, a store chain which he admitted was seen as "formal, middle-class and boring".

So what differences will customers begin to see when they walk into their local M&S over the next few months? First the stores themselves are going to be laid out rather differently. Out will go their present cluttered feel and the generally poor in-store signs and information.

"Our stores are seen as hard to shop in and customers complain of a lack of orientation and of being overwhelmed by quantity," said Mr Rose. Stores will be stocked with new ranges of clothes that are more in touch with what is going on in the market.

"A good retailer is always half a step in front of the customer, never more or never less," he said. "In clothing there is a sense of abandonment with Per Una being too young and our classics being too old. Our consumers are saying 'we're not old, we're in between'. They want to be in touch with fashion but not at their expense. They want to have fashion with a small F," he said. The emphasis is on clothes with a "classic, stylish, superior cut, quality material and value for money".

Mr Rose said: "Girls come to me and say 'Stuart, sell me a skirt that makes me look good and feel good'. That's what girls want, trust me." In food, the ranges are going to be more focused. "Do we really need 23 varieties of tomato?" he asked.

Comments