M&S and families
M&S serves nearly 30 million customers a year across the UK. Whether it is a Colin the Caterpillar cake to celebrate a birthday, a school uniform, the first bra, a suit for interview or one of our Select Farms turkeys at Christmas, our products help families make the everyday special as well as mark those family moments we can all relate to.
We offer trusted value to families in every sense. We know that we’re not just a retailer; for many we’re an employer, partner and neighbour and we take that role seriously.
So we’ve launched a new Family Matters Index, in partnership with Yonder, to get and share a more granular understanding of how the UK’s families are feeling, and what they’re doing, so we stay close to what matters to them.
We want to know what’s on our customers’ minds – whether that’s staying active, spending more time with loved ones or environmental concerns – so that we can keep our promise of delivering trusted value on the things that matter most to them.
Introducing the M&S Family Index
The first M&S Family Matters Index is the benchmark study to understand what really matters to families in the UK, today and in the years to come. Through regular quarterly reports we will explore what family life looks like, the challenges families face, and their ambitions and plans for the future.
In this first report we will be focussing on three core themes:
- What family means today
- Why family matters
- What matters to families today
As we emerge from lockdown, the M&S Family Matters Index will provide an overall measure of how confident and resilient families across the UK are feeling and how those feelings change in the months and years ahead.
The index has been generated using data from a nationally representative survey of 10,000 people across the country, enabling us to track changing attitudes around family over time as well as comparing how they vary from group to group. The Index score is a combination of different factors that define the resilience and confidence of families today:
- Optimism about family prospects
- Feelings about the strength of families
- Happiness of families
- Family health
- Family financial prospects
The overall Family Index Score is 55. Index scores above 50 represent a positive, optimistic perspective about family situations and prospects.
- Nearly 8/10 people feel family is more important than ever
- Three times as many people feel closer to their family following the pandemic
- Most people think family is defined by who you feel close to than think it is defined by blood
- More than half of people feel that the make-up of family is “unrecognisable” compared with even 20 years ago
What 'Family' means in the UK in 2021
Families come in all shapes and sizes. While the word family instinctively conjures up images of units comprising children and close relatives, when people are prompted to think about who counts as ‘family’, a much more diverse and varied picture emerges.
Why family matters
There is a very broad and deep consensus across the UK that ‘family is more important than ever’.
Nearly 8 out of 10 people feel this - & only 5% disagree.
What matters to families today
Two different clusters of issues are at the front of people’s minds when they think about their family – more immediate issues that directly and personally affect their family, and bigger picture concerns about the impact on families of global and societal issues.
Yonder conducted eight online focus groups with adults from across the UK. Participants spanned a wide range of ages and family situations.
Each focus group took the form of a structured two-hour discussion about what ‘family’ means, the feelings and values that people associate with families and the range of hopes, fears, issues and priorities that relate to family life in the UK today. Groups were conducted between 4th and 8th February 202.
The qualitative insight and outputs from the focus groups informed an online questionnaire about family, which was completed by a nationally representative sample of 10,000 adults between 4th & 17th March 2021. The purpose of such a large survey sample is to enable us to look with confidence at the responses of different demographic sub-groups and to present a picture of UK families that reflects and captures its diversity.
Overall, the findings from the quantitative survey are accurate to a margin of error of less than 1% and analysis of demographic sub-groups is based on a minimum sample of 100.
This inaugural M&S Family Matters study clearly shows that despite more than a year of Covid related challenges, across the country the role of the family has rarely been more important.
People identify with and value being part of a family, and while the definition of what it means to be a family varies, the benefit it brings does not.