Marks & Spencer has unveiled the first in-store changes initiated by chief executive Marc Bolland designed to better present brands, showcase the retailer’s exclusivity and make stores more easily shoppable.
He said the changes, on show at the retailer’s store on Kensington High Street, London, represented a “sneak preview” of the transformation planned across the chain, which remains a work in progress.
Tomorrow M&S will open a store in Westfield Stratford. Bolland said it was important to bear in mind that Stratford is a new store, whereas Kensington gives a flavour of how the new approach can be taken in existing stores.
“This is a bit more real-life,” said Bolland. “What we do at High Street Kensington we can replicate.
The retailer has opened an in-store deli for the first time in 20 years, created a new bakery and introduced the first raft of exclusive international brands.
In general merchandise, a distinct and coherent feel has been created for collections such as Autograph and Limited, giving a department store-style concession feel as part of the journey ‘from labels to brands’. Conran furniture and homeware has also made its debut
Another 14 pilot stores will open in mid-October in time for peak. Their performance will be reviewed and changes made if necessary before a roll-out to various degrees across the chain. “This is not cast in stone, this is a journey,” said Bolland.