Marks & Spencer is to roll out its Limited Collection brand, supported by a specially designed shopping area in stores and dedicated staff, making it the biggest womenswear brand from the troubled retailer since the launch of Per Una.
The move, tipped in Marketing Week last week, is an attempt to address disappointing sales figures in clothing. Sales for the year ending April 3 were down 0.5 per cent on last year with womenswear, in particular, performing below expectations. The retailer also announced yesterday (Tuesday) a modest increase in pre-tax profits to 739.8m, for the 52 weeks ending April 3, from 715.7m last year.
Limited Collection is aimed at 35- to 44-year-old women and will include clothing, accessories and footwear. It will launch in September and be rolled out to 70 stores by the end of March 2005.
Trialled as Limited Edition and then as Limited Collection, the concept has been remodelled, taking into account customer feedback on price and the need to refresh the clothing offer frequently. Ten per cent of the range will comprise new products every three weeks and 65 per cent every eight weeks.
M&S marketer Sian Davies has been appointed as marketing manager for Limited Collection, reporting to head of marketing for clothing and strategy Helen Buck. M&S chief executive Roger Holmes says: “By creating a clearly defined brand with its own identity and shop fit, Limited is an important step in our strategy of segmenting womenswear.”