Designers anticipate a step-change in product quality after Marks & Spencer’s £1.2m swoop for Selfridges chief executive Vittorio Radice this week. Lauded for his championing of design, Radice will run the home division at M&S from March 2003 as well as working across the brand at board level.
Priestman Goode director Paul Priestman says, ‘It’s a smart move for M&S. I imagine he’ll concentrate on product rather than store environments. [Radice’s] selection of design-led products should nudge M&S on from its Home Counties image [in this area].’
M&S will be hoping Radice can bring the same ‘big picture’ vision to its home offer that George Davies tailored to its clothing lines. But concerns have already been raised about creative leadership at Selfridges, following the immediate promotion of finance director Peter Williams to chief executive.
‘It’s a loss for Selfridges and a gain for M&S,’ says Conran & Partners creative director Sebastian Conran. ‘At M&S, I expect more appealing products and youthful and interesting store design.’
A roll-out of M&S’s large-format home furnishing concept is now likely, with two 6500+m2 pilot stores in the pipeline.