Blog: Leonie BarrieConsumers’ choice

Leonie Barrie | 20 March 2006

Being named the ‘Consumers’ Favourite Retailer’ for the second consecutive year isn’t just good news for Marks & Spencer; it’s pretty good for the UK fashion market in general too. Successfully trouncing non-clothing retailers such as HMV, Woolworths and B&Q in its bid for the top slot, M&S’ good fortune shows just how important fashion is in overall spending priorities.

I guess it also shows just how fickle this market can be too. M&S has been voted the consumer choice for two years in a row, but it wasn’t so long ago that it was struggling to pick itself up from an all-time financial low, a series of management reshuffles, and almost constant sniping about its clothing offer.

It now looks at though M&S has found its footing again and is once more offering the right balance for consumers. Its clothing prices have dropped by around 7% (from an average item price of £10.74 in 2004 to £10.03 in 2005) and marketing to the store group’s traditional older customer has vastly improved. And there’s still room for improvement – which loosely translates as growth – if it can work just as hard to broaden its appeal to the younger end of the market. If it puts all hands to the deck we may just see the retailer picking up its third ‘favourite retailer’ award next year.

Favourite retailer award


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