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M&S launches truly omnichannel service with its c.1,200 expert bra fitters ready to welcome customers back either in-store or through new virtual appointments trialled during lockdown. The retailer is also starting to introduce the option to ‘Pay With Me’ in the lingerie fitting room (a digital on-the-spot payment solution) at its top 50 lingerie stores.

Lingerie market leader M&S is preparing to fully reopen its UK stores with contact free bra fit and the new option for customers to access this expert service from home via M&S.com, with its online bra fit offer. Adapting its bra fitting service to include the option of the online platform is part of wider plans from M&S Lingerie to offer customers more relevant products & services for a post-covid world – showing up with energy, confidence & style.


Colleague Expertise 


The expertise of bra fit colleagues makes M&S Lingerie departments a destination to shop, alongside the breadth of product that can be browsed with many customers wanting to examine the detail of the items – from the feminine touches of a Rosie for Marks & Spencer silk bra to the soft materials in M&S’s everyday offer. New research shows 65% of M&S Lingerie customers (c. 1,000 polled) cannot wait to return to store and the pandemic has demonstrated that whilst customers have adapted to online shopping, for many there is still a preference for in-store shopping for this category. M&S’s expert lingerie team will be on hand as stores reopen across the UK to offer everything customers need in store: from advice on the perfect multi-way bra for a much anticipated summer event, to finding the right size - from first bra to post-surgery to maternity. Ahead of reopening the M&S Lingerie leadership team held a virtual conference via Microsoft Teams for all Lingerie colleagues to refresh everyone on offering the very best bra fit and to discuss the amazing new products for the season ahead. 


Pay with Me

M&S is also improving the in-store service at 50 of its bigger stores* by starting to utilise its Pay with Me service first trialled over Christmas in its Food stores. Pay with Me means during a bra fit appointment customers can purchase their lingerie without even visiting a till – they simply pay via card or Apple Pay on one of M&S’s handheld payment devices and off they go. 


Online Option 

Alongside the in-store experience, M&S’s online bra fit service is now being launched following initial trials of the service during lockdown. M&S Lingerie remains focused on turbocharging online growth with a more inspirational online customer journey, including relevant online services. The online bra fit service will be operated from M&S in-store lingerie hubs across the UK including Cheshire Oaks, Cribbs Causeway (Bristol), Bluewater (Kent), Kingston and Metro Centre (Newcastle) – these stores are some of the top ranking for customer service in Lingerie. Further regional locations are also planned to offer the service including Braehead and Lisburn. 

Initially the online option will ensure those not ready to return to store can still access the in-store expertise of M&S bra fit colleagues. Longer term it provides an alternative way to access the service - be it for a busy new mum or a loyal customer ready to repeat order online but just has a couple of quick questions for a lingerie consultant. 

It is recommended customers get fitted regularly (every six -12 months) – be that online or in-store - as breasts fluctuate with weight and hormonal changes particularly pregnancy. Wearing the correct bra size is important for comfort, support, poise and most importantly confidence. With all appointments booked online M&S is now able to encourage repeat bookings with follow up emails. 

Laura Charles, M&S Lingerie Director said, “I want every woman to be confident she can buy her bras from M&S – whoever she is, however she shops, whatever her needs. This means every customer needs to be able to access not just our amazing products but our lingerie expertise. Our new & improved bra fit service means customers have the choice to talk to our fabulous team not just in-store, but also from the comfort of their home. And when they’re in store we’re making it easier & more convenient than ever with pre-booked appointments and our new digital payment option – Pay with Me.”

Annabel, an M&S Online Bra Fitter who took part in the trial of the online service said, “Wearing the right size bra is really important - for comfort, support, poise but most importantly for confidence. Being an in-store bra fitter is a great role where you’re helping women every day and taking the service online has been an exciting new chapter.”

As restrictions start to ease it’s crucial for M&S as the leading bra fit service in the UK to adapt for a world that will never be the same again.

Ends

Further Detail - In-Store Bra Fit including Pay with Me

How it works:

  1. Customers book online (All appointments for M&S in-store bra fit are booked online to ensure contact details are collected for track & trace.)
  2. Customers visit the lingerie department, and the bra fit appointment takes place with all the relevant hygiene & social distancing measures in place. Appointments include
  3. Contact-free measurement (colleagues will show customers how to take their own underband measurements accurately with a sterilised tape measure and will assess cup size – all from a social distance)
  4. Advice on the different styles, shapes & options available at M&S 
  5. Help selecting & purchasing the perfect bra - from everyday options to sports bras, to something special.
  6. Quick & easy payment – in 50 stores If customers wish to purchase colleagues can process the transaction there & then in the fitting room using their handheld Honeywell device, which is fully Sparks-enabled and allows contactless (up to the usual £45 limit – to be increased later in the year to £100), card payments (with no limit) & Apple Pay.


Further Detail – Online Bra Fit 

How it works:

The customer journey has been designed to be as easy & convenient as possible (just as it is in store) and is a simple three step process.


  1. BOOK IN: Customers book online on M&S.com answering a few pre-appointment questions such as preferred styles.
  2. LOG ON: Customers use a link to log on for their 20 minute appointment from the comfort of their own home – powered by Microsoft Teams any device can be used.
  3. BUY: Customers receive a follow up email with links to product on M&S.com for contact free delivery or click & collect.


Trialled during lockdown, 100% of customers polled who had an online bra fit (100 customers) rated it 9 or 10 out of 10, with the average bra fitter being given 4.97 out of five stars. 


The roll out of online bra fit service is part of M&S’s ongoing effort to introduce relevant digital services enabled by its digital & data team. The retailer is also currently trialling a furniture consultation live video service which has had great customer feedback.


*Further Detail – the 50 stores that will start to use Pay with Me for Lingerie in the coming weeks 


Aintree

Banbury M40

Bluewater

Braehead

Brent Cross

Brooklands

Brotherhood Peterborough

Camberley

Castlepoint

Cheshire Oaks

Cheshunt

Cribbs Causeway

Crystal Peaks Sheffield

Culverhouse Cross

Eclipse Park Maidstone

Fosse Park

Gemini

Glasgow Fort

Gyle

Handforth

Hedge End

Hempstead Valley

Kew

Kingsley Village

Lisburn

Llanelli Parc Trostre

London Colney

Longbridge

Meadowhall

Merryhill

Merton

Metro Centre

Nottingham Giltbrook

Pollok Glasgow

Pudsey

Rushden Lakes

Shoreham

Southampton West Quay

Stadium Milton Keynes

Stafford RP

Stratford City London

Tamworth

Thurrock

Torbay

Trafford Centre

Union Square Aberdeen

Vangarde Monks Cross

Westwood Cross

White City

Wolstanton Stoke