M&S to revamp stores with £500m investment
Marks & Spencer is investing £500m in rolling out a new store format to the rest of its estate by mid-2013 after a successful trial, as it unveiled a 1.2% increase in first-quarter sales.
M&S: invests £500m in new store format
M&S is segmenting the stores according to local preferences and has split the store types into categories including "family first" stores, which place a greater emphasis on kidswear.
M&S is segmenting the stores through data collected by purchases made by its customers and through data compiled by a market research company.
The retailer is building up a demographic profile of all its stores by using criteria including affluence and age. This data is used to decide the layout of the stores to classify them into segments, including "family first".
The new store format also includes a stronger emphasis on sub-brands, such as its Autograph collection, which are being given prominent standalone sections within stores and being flagged up with clearer signage.
The project will cost £100m less than first expected and comes as the retailer posts a UK sales increase of 1.2% for the quarter ending 31 March, which came despite declining general merchandise sales.
Growth was driven by a 3.1% year-on-year increase in food sales, but was held back by a 1.2% sales decrease in general merchandise with clothing sales dropping by 0.3% and "home" recording a 7.5% plunge in sales.
Womenswear had a mixed performance, with M&S attributing a stock shortage to the poor sales of some lines, while it claims to have had a good start to its spring/summer range, which is being backed by a star-studded ad campaign.
M&S blames the sharp drop in "home" sales on its withdrawal from the technology sector.
The retailer's Direct online offering saw another strong quarter with sales increasing by 22.8%.
Follow Matthew Chapman on Twitter @mattchapmanUK
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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