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BR Video: M&S should improve sub-brands and cut prices

Marks & Spencer is perceived as a high-quality retailer, but could do more to reduce prices and produce more fashionable clothes, according to members of the public interviewed in this latest BR Video.

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New M&S chief executive Marc Bolland last week announced that he would tweak the M&S strategy to focus on the core M&S brand and improve clothing sub-brands, while axing the Portfolio line.

M&S would also introduce a series of innovative and exclusive products to carry the 'Only at M&S' tag.

According to the people surveyed, Bolland is right to focus on clothing brands but also needs to drive prices down.

Forty-one year-old web designer Richard said he went "rarely", but admitted it was "somewhere you go to treat yourself.

"M&S has an image of being pricey compared to Sainsbury’s or Tescos," he added.

Twenty year-old journalist Kate disagreed about the prices at M&S, saying she went "two or three times per week", adding: "It is just the same price or sometimes cheaper than some of the other sandwich retailers, and I think they are nicer and have a wider selection."

However, she felt the clothing was not as appealing, and Bolland should "expand the ranges aimed at younger people", adding that the Per Una brand was originally aimed at young people but had "veered away" from that.

David, a 58-year-old retiree, was a die-hard enthusiast for M&S, saying: "Virtually all my wardrobe is from M&S. I buy it and I know it will fit."

But even he was concerned that stores were "cluttered" although he felt the sub-brands were generally a success, saying Per Una and Blue Harbour for men had "made it [M&S] a bit more trendy".

Steve, a 22-year-old salesman, was a regular M&S shopper, going two or three times per week – "mainly for the food" and the non-iron shirts, but he felt M&S was missing a trick and should expand into hot food.

The video was produced by Vox Pops International on behalf of Brand Republic.

Read more on Brand Republic

Marketing columnist Helen Edwards: M&S "has unveiled a nebulous positioning that relies as much on its history as innovation"

41-year old web designer Richard said he went "rarely", but admitted it was "somewhere you go to treat yourself."

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