Troubled retailer Marks & Spencer is to modernise 125 of its 294 stores in an £11m bid to reverse its fortunes. Retail design specialist John Herbert Partnership is currently developing interiors for the stores.
The announcement makes unclear the role of BDG McColl, appointed last month to review store interiors. Directors at the consultancy were unable to comment on the situation, while M&S staff involved in the JHP project say they have no knowledge of BDG McColl’s involvement.
M&S divisional director of clothing, marketing and operations Kim Winser says that 25 stores will have the bulk of innovations from the chain’s flagship Finsbury Circus store – created by JHP – added to them. A further 100 will have some elements of that design introduced.
A September deadline has been set for the conversion of the first 19 outlets, says an M&S spokeswoman. “The new look will include striking window displays and a simpler store layout, making it easier for customers to find their way around M&S’s latest fashion ranges,” she adds.
“This is the first stage in a long-term programme,” says JHP director Graham Herbert. “The design will address fundamental customer needs, such as product presentation, fitting rooms and customer contact.”
JHP joins a number of design consultancies working for M&S. Rodney Fitch & Co is developing formats for neighbourhood stores, while FutureBrand Davies Baron works on graphics and packaging. Building Design Partnership is retained as architect for new stores.