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Why are M&S so rubbish?

(36 Posts)
stringbean Sat 01-Mar-14 10:07:04

I know this thread has been done before, but just had to mention this one. Went to my local M&S yesterday (it's one of the big out of town ones, and is REALLY big) to look for something for SIL's new baby (don't get me started on the kids' clothes...). Inside the door were several mannequins, a couple of which were wearing a v nice beige belted trench coat. (It's this one - looks much nicer in RL; looks a bit shiny and slightly pink in the picture, which it isn't). No price visible though.

I must have walked around the shop three times looking for it. Finally asked an assistant who showed me what she thought was the coat (which it wasn't - it was a different style) but then I spotted a few of said coat hiding behind some revolting chartreuse macs. And, surprise surprise - all they had was size 8 and size 20.

Why, M&S, WHY???? This is a lovely classic item - it was lined and everything - that you should be stocking lots of IN YOUR SHOPS. SO WE CAN TRY THEM ON!! Yes, I know they're on the website, but that means ordering it and paying for it first. I want to see and try things in your shops. You do stock the odd gem - this is one of them - but why are they so sodding hard to find???

You have too much stuff. There is too much stuff on your website. For goodness sake, pare it down and stick to classics and basics. Believe me, you'll do much better.

There. Rant over.

QueenQueenie Sat 01-Mar-14 11:00:13

They are spectacularly crap. I saw a lovely silk shirt in a big store - very simple, plain, etc. They only had a couple left in size 20 in whit and one in a 8 in the pink colour I wanted.
I ordered a pink one online, collect in store. Also ordered some high rise shorts (pants). When I went to collect them they had sent me a white shirt, despite it being correctly described on the delivery note. Got a refund in store.
Got home, to discover they had sent me low rise shorts...
I phoned them. They were so "meh" it made me cross. Their best "suggestion" was that I order both items again.
Crap.

littleballerina Sat 01-Mar-14 11:02:23

I only ever look at the undies.

Nocomet Sat 01-Mar-14 11:08:15

Far too much choice on the web site and to little choice in my local stores.

Awful layouts with things scattered everywhere and never all sizes in everything.

As the OP says, please, please a really good range of basics in all sizes and don't display goods you haven't got.

Likewise cut the gimmicks and logos on kids stuff. Your jeans, leggings and shirts/blouses are great.

stringbean Sat 01-Mar-14 11:14:40

Yes, I can't be bothered to look at their website - there's far too much stuff on there. The coat I liked looked so different in RL - I would have dismissed it from the picture.

I used to live in central London near to their Oxford St/Marble Arch store in the late 80/early 90s and their stuff was really good. I had some great coats from there; a lovely mini kilt; classic white shirts; shoes; swimwear - I used to buy a lot of stuff from M&S then and I was in late teens/early 20s. It was good quality and affordable.

Now, I'm supposed to be in one of their main demographics and what do I buy there? Teabags. And school uniform. And that's it. And they wonder why they're doing so badly.

ladybyron Sat 01-Mar-14 12:19:57

I went in M&S in Brent Cross a few weeks ago and thought the women's fashions were dire. Stocked up on v nice undies and thermal vests, which just look like t-shirts. The rest was hideous.

WipsGlitter Sat 01-Mar-14 12:26:43

I was in on Thursday and actually thought they had some ok stuff!! I even bought something!! But their 'improved' website is so shite I can't find it anymore!

CointreauVersial Sat 01-Mar-14 13:43:41

Some sections of the stores are great - Autograph, for example, I can find all sorts of lovely work stuff, and everything is merchandised nicely.

Then I wander a few feet around the corner, and I'm in some dire old lady shop, random racks of beige trousers and gaudy viscose tops. I think they are trying to cover all the bases, and it's a mistake.

But I am still a customer, I love their undies, shoes and accessories, and there are enough gems amongst the tat to keep me coming back.

thecatfromjapan Sat 01-Mar-14 14:29:10

Two of our local big stores are pretty good. I went somewhere else the other day - and was surprised at how bad it was. I was trying to find a coat too, as luck would have it.

I'm trying to think what made such a difference - but I'm not sure. I think our locals have everything corralled very clearly in sections.

thecatfromjapan Sat 01-Mar-14 14:31:53

Next time you have a horrible day like that, though, go and hang out in their Beauty department. That is good.

(Thinking more: our locals have clear sections for the "collections" (!) and also clear sections for types of stuff, ie.: dresses; coats; cashmere. So there is some duplication, but it is quite easy to find things you are looking for.)

Hobbes8 Sat 01-Mar-14 15:52:26

I find their website baffling. I was looking for some skinny jeans and some leggings the other day, and there were so many options for both that I gave up. How am I supposed to know if it was the indigo collection cotton rich leggings or the stay new m&s collection leggings etc etc that someone on here said were good quality?

mrsnec Sat 01-Mar-14 16:10:01

I saw a nice pair of trousers the other day in my local branch. I don't live in the UK and they were more than 50e here but 18 pounds on the uk site. Didn't think to try them on in store.so getting them from UK,They come in size small, medium and large which is unusual for m&s, but the product details say model is wearing size 8 and no dimensions, I Haven't a clue what size to order! No product reviews either. Really annoying! I. Have indigo collection leggings I do agree they're good quality, not worth the price but better than my peacocks ones for sure. Also had the same problem as you Hobbes looking for jeans.

WhoWasThatMaskedWoman Sat 01-Mar-14 16:43:52

Actually I think they've nailed their children's wear this season. Lots of bright colours and lovely tigers on the boys' tops.

MillyBlods Sun 02-Mar-14 10:16:40

I went to our nearest one yesterday and walked all around the Women's section. The colours were drab and too many patterns. Was very disappointed. sad

IsabellaRockerfeller Sun 02-Mar-14 10:22:57

Went to my local (massive) M&S and was so totally confused as they had so much STUFF.

It was all divided into "collections". I wanted a top but had to walk round about 10 sections cos there were tops in each. They do stock some nice pieces but my goodness it is well hidden amongst the vile stuff.

When I eventually found a top, they only had very small or very large sizes.

Aaagh, just stock less stuff, put similar items all together and make sure you have all sizes on the shop floor.

futterbingers Sun 02-Mar-14 10:41:53

Was in my local very large store yesterday and came away feeling depressed. So many 'collections', so many ugly prints and so much nasty sweaty synthetic fabric. I wanted a few simple cotton work shirts and some cotton or cotton-mix v-necked tops. Marks was always my go-to place for these basics. Yesterday I saw none of either. And none of their jumpers or dresses had v-necks either. Got some cotton tops and shirts in H & M eventually, not great quality but cheap enough to stock up on. Marks has gone down so much in quality I don't think they can ever recover now.

Nocomet Sun 02-Mar-14 10:52:18

envy at Marble Arch

DD1 and me have our annual pilgrimage to Cribbs M&S. DD1 is a curvy size 12 and likes pockets. We long ago realised that £25/35 for a pair of M&S ladies works trousers that fit and last was way better than 2 or 3 pairs of cheap school trousers that are never right.

MillyBlods Sun 02-Mar-14 10:53:08

My thoughts exactly Futtersad

Nocomet Sun 02-Mar-14 10:55:37

Also, although her current ones are very slim fit, the thought police can't accuse them of being jeans grin

Nocomet Sun 02-Mar-14 11:00:21

Sainsbury's long sleeved Ts are as good as M&S cheaper and often nicer patterns, more interesting colours.

I have a olive and navy striped (rather and white yet again) one that's been washed and washed.

stringbean Sun 02-Mar-14 15:27:46

Yes, the 'collections' do my head in. Why not have all the dresses in one place together, all the tops in one place, all the knitwear in one place? Why make it so bloody confusing? Just keep it simple. We don't need 250 dresses to choose from (there's approx this number on the website. Why??). Lots of choice is not a good thing if the quality is compromised. Less choice, but well-cut clothes in good fabrics would be far better.

cocobongo Sun 02-Mar-14 17:36:30

I don't think the answer is to group all the dresses together, that would look pretty rubbish. You don't see that in other shops. Far better to group together by colour / outfit (e.g. tops and trousers / skirts that would work well together). I think it is the areas of m&s where they do group together by item that looks the worst- e.g. the section where they have rack after rack of polyester trousers, with far too many squashed onto the rack so they fall off as soon as someone looks at them, and of course, 10 pairs of size 8 and 10 pairs of size 22 and nothing in between!

I think having the different collections makes sense, but that they should be a bit more clearly differentiated because there seems to be a lot of overlap. E.g. both Autograph and Limited Collection seem to be workwear- plus they have a different section which has work suits.

GeorginaWorsley Sun 02-Mar-14 17:46:58

Fewer items,better colours,more neutrals and basics.
I have had some good stuff even recently,shoes,jumper,dress,jacket,but had to hunt!
Saw some vests that look good too.
Don't get me started on rest of High Street though...

dannydyerismydad Sun 02-Mar-14 17:53:25

The whole layout and collections thing puts me in mind of C&A, and it didn't end well for them.

I have discovered that their girl's cashmere in age 13 fits my size 8 self brilliantly and is really affordable.

AmazingBouncingFerret Sun 02-Mar-14 18:00:27

I went to the large out of town one near me last week.
(my mum and I usually do a monthly pilgrimage for lunch and a wander ever since they closed our high street one)

Everything was hideous! As I walked round my lip curled more and more to the point my mother actually told me to pull my face straight (I'm 30 fgs! grin)

Childrenswear was quite nice though, they had some gorgeous outfits in lots of bright turquoises, reds and mustard yellows.

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