Marks & Spencer has put its 10,000 womenswear staff through dedicated ‘Fashion Camp’ training designed to enable them to better serve and advise customers in enhanced stores.

The retailer, which today unveiled a new-look womenswear department at its Pantheon store on Oxford Street which will be rolled out, intends staff to be able to provide “world class customer service”.

On average, an M&S customer spends 24 minutes per visit in-store and 69% of women shop its stores alone so frequently want advice and a second opinion.

Marks & Spencer marketing and business development director Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne said: “We have 24 minutes to inspire her and convert her. We want that 24 minutes to be the best experience for her.”

The Fashion Camp initiative was created to enable staff to more effectively engage with customers by offering expert guidance on what to wear and reassurance that the correct purchase choice was being made.

The push is being enacted as M&S introduces changes to its womenswear floors including ‘welcome zones’ at the front of stores spotlighting the latest looks and most popular products; new-look destination departments such as a Coat Shop and Dress Shop; more outfit suggestions throughout the shop and digital innovations such as an ‘inspiration station’ in the shoe department which suggests complementary accessories.

The womenswear department has also been made more easily navigable. Bousquet-Chavanne said: “Once she [the customer] is in the store we have to provide an intuitive journey, not hard work.”