M&S targets core clients for SS19 fashion, says denim, minis are key trends
M&S has unveiled its spring/summer fashion offer and with plenty riding on the retailer’s ability to reignite growth in its fashion business, the selection is being closely watched.
The general consensus appears to be that the company has come up with a strong series of collections and has avoided being too ‘aspirational’, preferring to create fashion product for its existing customer base instead of the rather-less-reliable customers it would like to patronise its stores and website.
That has seen it looking at items, such as dresses, that have proved popular in the past and refreshing them via colour, print and pattern.
It will be continuing its association with celebrity Holly Willoughby with a new selection of Willoughby-endorsed ‘must-haves’ dropping next month following a strong reaction for the first selection that launched back in September.
The reaction to that collection was most enthusiastic online, no surprise as it was only available in 30 physical shops. But this is being extended to 70 this time.
The company is also putting a big push behind denim in the Willoughby-linked selection, which is understandable as it’s the top denim retailer in the UK, even though that status isn't necessarily something that many consumers would associate with it. With that in mind, it’s launching a wide range aside from jeans, such as denim/chambray dresses, tops and skirts.
And beyond the Willoughby connection, the company appears to have taken a simpler approach to much of its SS19 offer while offering up key classics that also have a strong fashion resonance at the moment. These include items such as simple white shirts and a camel trench coat.
But there are also more trend-based pieces such as a black leather mock croc skirt, a boilersuit, snakeskin-effect sandals and the cowboy boots that are one of the hottest footwear items at present (and one that can transition across numerous seasons). It's also backing miniskirts as these have been a strong seller. And with designer brands continuing to offer up shorter lengths, this trend could have some way to run.
That said, the company has moved away from its previous reliance on star pieces and on “outfitting” towards “wardrobing”, which means it wants its customers to select pieces over the season that work with each other rather than sticking out at standalones.
There's also a big focus on intimates, especially important given in the retailer's 36% (and rising) market share in bras. The company is adding more products in Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Rosie for Autograph collection.
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