Marks & Spencer (M&S) has unveiled plans to test a chain of standalone homeware stores, selling products such as furniture, soft furnishings, gifts and accessories.
The trial will begin with two large home stores, which will open for business within 18 months. The stores’ locations are yet to be decided.
M&S expanded its homeware offering late last year, opening home sections in 27 of its department stores. A spokeswoman for M&S says the company is eager to capitalise on the popularity of its home sections. She says: “Homeware is definitely a growth area and M&S wants to get in there. This seems like a logical step for us.”
Merchandise in the home stores will be similar to M&S’s current offerings, but the product range will be expanded and improved.
M&S will continue its segmented approach to marketing by dividing the stores into lifestyles, including Modern Living, Classic Country and Classic Town. The spokeswoman says M&S has successfully segmented its men’s and ladies’ clothing lines and sees no reason not to take the same approach with homeware.
At this stage, M&S has no plans to put a separate home store advertising account up for pitch. Instead the company’s incumbent agency, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R will handle advertising.