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M&S’s Autumn/Winter collection has begun to land on physical shelves and digital screens to great feedback on the style & value it offers for how customers are living, working, and shopping in 2021. Today, M&S is launching a stylish new campaign to bring the season’s product to life for customers – “Anything but ordinary”.

Sparks First

“Anything but ordinary” is being shared with M&S’s 12.5 million Sparks customers first – offering them exclusive access to hero products from today on M& and free access to join a virtual styling event tonight – part of the retailer’s “Sparks Live” series. Hosted by Holly Willoughby, the Sparks Live event will include style tips, outfit ideas and lots of opportunity to win prizes. With so much online traffic being made up of customers browsing for online inspiration, these events will remain important in a post-pandemic world. 

Anything but ordinary kicks off for all customers tomorrow and takes inspiration from the anything but ordinary trusted quality of M&S product – M&S remains the #1 UK retailer for quality with over 80% of customers who have shopped it in the last year agreeing it’s good quality*. The campaign runs across all customer channels – from press, print ads to TikTok, and is the biggest clothing marketing push since the pandemic began, including the first clothing TV advert. It follows on from the bold new neutrals campaign over the summer to support M&S’s more inclusive lingerie offer. 

Reshaped Ranges – Style & Value 

The clothing offer for M&S’s Autumn/Winter super-season demonstrates the continuation of M&S’s strategy to focus on both style & trusted value. This strategy is demonstrated best in stand-out products such as the quality sweats where every item is £15. As pictured, the sets are available in bold, optimistic colours (as well as the popular black, grey, and navy) and have been styled with black chunky boots set to be a seasonal bestseller. 

The Autumn/Winter collection is full of confident staple buys and seasonal product with broad appeal - particularly in M&S’s hero categories of knitwear, denim, footwear, and coats. This season, M&S’s offer of more style-led jean shapes (such as Mom & Boyfriend) has increased from 4% of the range to 16%. Hero categories have been backed – the volume of buy on padded coats is up more than 45% versus pre-pandemic and M&S has nearly 3 million womenswear jumpers to sell before Christmas (30 every hour). Value is clearly displayed throughout the range – this year over 50% of M&S’s womenswear knitwear buy is under £25, yet retains the quality fabric, fit and finish M&S is known for.

Sustainable Shopping 

With customer consciousness to protect the planet at an all-time high, M&S has doubled down on its sustainability credentials for the season. All cotton in M&S clothing (the most used material) continues to be from more sustainable sources and the sustainability of denim has been stepped up with lower impact sprays being used to create all faded denim that launches this season. M&S customers can also shop more sustainably online with M&S’s online warehouse powered by 100% renewable energy and new paperless receipts now saving 205 tonnes of paper every year. M& also continues to add more sustainability information under ‘details & care’ of each product, so customers can find out more about what materials make up their clothes. 

A Seamless Experience 

Across online and in-store, this Autumn/Winter M&S is presenting a more inspirational layout for customers. As part of this, the ‘The Edit’ range will introduce the most stylish pieces, designed to be dressed up or down for versatile outfits. In-store, customers will see co-ordinated zones presented on new stands and with new mannequins, whilst online, M&S is launching its first ‘shop the look’ button meaning a curation can be easily purchased. These new layouts have been possible as this season, half of M&S’s clothing has been designed to match together and be part of an outfit all available from M&S, such as skirts and tops with complementary prints and colours. This is part of M&S’s aspiration to offer the everyday staples alongside more stylish outfitting solutions.

Inspiration – however, whenever & wherever you chose to shop 

M&S has also reset the product offer in smaller stores to better reflect how customers shop. The retailer’s market-leading cashmere will now appear in 33 more locations, meaning compelling cashmere in half the store estate. Customers will see far more casual and colourful clothing on their local High Streets – as well as a much bigger offer of stylish items, such as dresses, where there will always be a minimum of 16 styles available.

With 80%** of customers now doing some clothing shopping online, the importance of the channel continues to grow, and online customers will also experience a changed M&S, including the launch of more user generated imagery – with customer and influencer photos being pulled from social media onto M& when they use the hashtag #MyMarks (example pictured). This is all part of offering and presenting the very best everyday style & value. 

Richard Price, MD of M&S Clothing & Home said,“ We’re reshaping the future of M&S Clothing with relevant product for how our customers are living and working – sustainably sourced items that offer trusted value and as our new marketing campaign shares, are ‘anything but ordinary’. We’re confident in our stylish product with big buys, especially within our hero categories and we’ll continue to listen to our customers feedback on our ranges. Alongside great products, our customers want a seamless and inspirational shopping experience whether they’re online or in-store and we’re continuing to make changes – from more casual & colourful product in smaller shops to introducing a ‘shop the look’ button on our website, making it even easier to put together stylish outfits.”

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