Marks and Spencer announced today that following a trial last year it will add branded goods such as Marmite and Pantene shampoo to its stores.
The decision has come after the announcement of stable profits from this time last year.
The BBC report that ‘the move to stock branded goods would enable M&S to “meet more of our customers’ regular shopping needs”’. While it can be argued that being able to pick up your Kelloggs and Coca Cola with your M&S shortbread and ready meal may be convenient I think Marks and Spencer are trying to be all things to all people which is a strategy that we know doesn’t work.
Bloomberg.com says that the brands M&S have chosen to stock are in markets where they can’t compete and have low market share thus complementing their current portfolio.
My opinion is that it’s too late to not roll this out now it has been announced, so M&S should take the opportunity presented to them to re-think their entire marketing strategy and consider who they are targeting and what their positioning is. I think they’ve become a little lost and maybe forgotten what this heritage brand stands for. It’s ok to evolve as a brand and take innovative approaches but all M&S is doing here is becoming main stream- I think it needs to go back to its roots and stand strong and stable during these troubling financial times.