Blog: Leonie BarrieM&S: “We boobed”

Leonie Barrie | 8 May 2009

Headline writers have had a field day this week after the campaign to persuade Marks & Spencer to ditch a GBP2 surcharge on bigger bras picked up its pace. In a climb-down today, the retailer admitted in national newspaper ads that “We boobed” – adding to some of the other headlines that have caught my eye. “M&S admits boob,” “Bra-vo!,” “Storm in a D-cup,” “Women’s full frontal war,” and “Their cups runneth over,” are just a few that I’ve seen.

The campaign against the surcharge might have been headline-grabbing, but it has also raised the serious issue of whether or not an extra cost is justified for larger-sized garments – or, conversely, whether smaller ones should be cheaper. M&S said its premium covered specialist work in engineering its larger bras, as well as the extra fabric needed to make them.

In response to an earlier blog posting, one just-style reader also noted that with margins getting ever tighter, especially for suppliers, each centimetre of cloth/trim counts, and that larger bras use more sturdy components such as wider straps which will be more costly to buy in.

Indeed, rather than capitulating, maybe M&S should have set a precedent by deciding to price more items according to size.


UK: M&S backs down over bigger bra charge


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