Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

One possible reason why M&S and Marc Bolland are having such a poor trading year

The result will place pressure on Marc Bolland , the chief executive officer who’s been at the helm of the U.K. retailer for two years, the newspaper said. The company’s board may blame the drop on bad weather as last month was the wettest June on record, according to the report.

We at theMarketingblog there is another reason along with the bad weather and Kate Bostock why M&S and Marc Bolland are having such a poor trading year. Is it the “It’s for my mum” syndrome

Let me go back well over 45 years to source the reason.

At that time Belfast, Northern Ireland was over populated with department store. Robbs, Arnotts, Bank Buildings, Anderson & McAuley, The Co-op – the list goes on. The problem was they were all concentrating on their mature customers. The older folk died and suddenly the new breed of customer, who had been neglected by store management had found new places to spend their money.

The final sad result some years later was a drastic reduction in the department store numbers. It actually dropped by eight to only three.

A head count

Could M&S be falling into this same customer trap all these years later?

I spent some time in an M&S store last Saturday, (note it is a non work day). I quietly kept a head count of the number of customers in the store who were over 55. I reckon it was as high as 70%.

Are M&S future customers going somewhere else like Next etc?

Another pointer. Rod Whitehead, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said: “We worry that the weakness in the top line is not just the weather. Some commentators are suggesting that M&S’s womenswear range has been off-trend this summer.”

Mr Bolland – it could be your present customer base is passing away and you are not replacing them with new fresh 20 /30 year olds.

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