Brand Story of Marks and Spencer

Moving on from ethnic Indian apparel in my last post, in this post I will write about a western wear brand – Marks & Spencer – one of the best known brands of the British high street available in more than 50 countries including India.

With changes in lifestyle, as more and more women in urban India are taking to western wear, M&S brings in quality fashion for urban Indian women and men.

.

M&S logo

Marks & Spencer’s heritage

 

Don’t ask for the price. It’s a penny

Said Michael Marks, a Jewish immigrant in England, when he opened his market stall in Leeds in 1884. His business grew in popularity and in 1894, Marks partnered with Tom Spencer to start the store called “Penny Bazaar” in Kirkgate Market in Leeds.

The stores displayed everything on trays for customers to inspect. By 1900, Marks & Spencer had expanded to include 36 Penny Bazaars and 12 high street stores.

M&S Penny Bazaar

Illustration by Annie Rickard Straus. Image Spurce : M& S website

Penny Bazar1914

Penny Bazar1914, Image source : Twitter @MandSHeritage

 

The outbreak of the First World War and the Second World War, brought about challenges and the scarcity of resources. M&S took to selling more of life’s essentials, including buttons, needles and threads, undergarments, and utility clothing.

When glamour resurfaced in the 1950s – 60s, the new style of dress epitomized optimism and a boldness that was never seen before.

From 1970s to 1990s, lifestyles were changing rapidly. With more women were going out to work, M&S introduced quality, convenience food, like boil-in-the-bag meals and microwave dinners.

Thus, over a period of time, from a single market stall, M&S  to grew to be one of the best known retail chains in UK. 

Aspirationaquality made accessible

Built around the five key principles of Quality, Value, Service, Innovation and Trust, the mid-market retailer filled the gap between fast fashion that was cheap but lacked quality, and the high end exclusive stores.

Besides the quality of the products, the nicely laid-out stores, friendly staff and a really easy-going returns policy added to the overall appeal of the brand.

Per Una clothing range, launched in 2001, introduced young fashion engineered for middle aged women. The label has been my favourite pick at M&S.

 

M&S womanswear

Image Source : M&S website

Marks and Spencer in India

 

M&S had entered India in 2001, through a franchisee arrangement with Planet Retail, who operated their stores in India. In 2008, M&S let go of its previous franchise arrangement with Planet Retail and entered into a Joint Venture with Reliance Retail. M&S aims to make India its second largest market after UK. Being its own label retailer M&S faces lesser restrictions than supermarkets selling a variety of brands.

M&S in India have fashion, lingerie and beauty products, leaving out the food products.

Earlier the stores in India offered limited collection, which were nowhere close to the collections available in UK. The stocks were dated, price point was high even for the upper middle class and the dresses were not exclusive enough for the rich class. However off late M&S has worked at bringing down the price and I have found some good stuff in M&S stores in Mumbai.

Besides its 47 physical stores, M& S has plans to tie up with online platforms such as Myntra, Snapdeal, eBay, Amazon to avail opportunities that come with the rapidly growing online bazaar in India.

 

With Asda, Primark, Debenhams etc emerging as strong competitors, Marks and Spencer is overhauling its content and commerce to transform the company and engage customers, receive feedback to understand their changing fashion aspirations.

Though now not in the top 20 consumer brands in the UK, the brand has a strong recall and emotional connect with people and continues to be one of the UK’s best-known retail brands, on its way to transform itself into a international multichannel retailer.

 

If you believe that any image used on this site infringes your copyright, please inform and it will be removed.

Hey! Say what you want to. Please Like, Share and/or drop in a Comment below!   🙂 

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to get new posts by email.

 




  • author's avatar

    By: Somali K Chakrabarti

    Hi there ! I am a management and leadership coach and a ‘çlinical blogger’. Well, that’s what my family & friends call me now ! Here, I tell stories of different brands, how people relate to the brands and the values, beliefs and emotions that they associate with the brands. Hope you enjoy reading my posts.

  • author's avatar

join me on this journey to know the stories of some great brands.

Download your complimentary eBook

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

About the author

Somali K Chakrabarti

Hi there ! I am a management and leadership coach and a 'çlinical blogger'. Well, that's what my family & friends call me now ! Here, I tell stories of different brands, how people relate to the brands and the values, beliefs and emotions that they associate with the brands. Hope you enjoy reading my posts.

Readers Comments (8)

  1. bhudeb chakrabarti June 13, 2015 @ 5:25 am

    Your Brand story of M &S made a good reading and provided valuable information.

    Reply
  2. It’s a trusted brand…nice to know more about them… 🙂

    Reply
  3. Pranab chakraborti June 13, 2015 @ 9:16 am

    Enjoyed reading the post. Very interesting. Haven’t yet tried M&S

    Reply
  4. Yet again a post filled with knowledge about the brands. It is important for customers to know about brands they shop for. I have an M&S blazer and love it, comfy and amazing cutting:)
    I’d love to read about my fav Levis, do let me know of the link.

    Reply

Say what you want to!

Customized Social Media Icons from Acurax Digital Marketing Agency
%d bloggers like this: