I was very sorry to hear that your sales have fallen. You are a British institution and should be dressing a large proportion of the country's men and women.
|Dear Marks and Spencer...|
I regularly visit in the hope of finding a gem. They can be found occasionally; British tweed jackets, coats and solid socks and underwear. But on nine out of ten visits I leave disappointed. I'm hoping to find high-quality, generally British-made, goods. Instead I find an Italian style that makes a man look like a Neapolitan wide-boy who's been dressed by his mama. I look for a traditional cable-knit woollen sweater, but find cheap loosely-knitted knitwear. Sizing is often a problem; as I'm a 32" waist and 38" chest, it shouldn't be.
What's needed is a return to good quality, simple classics. See what John Lewis is doing with its John Lewis and Co range (much made in the UK) and its collaboration with British designers like Joe Casely-Hayford. They have taken your share and you need to take it back.
|Savile Row Inspired - Richard James - the way forward?|
There is a market comprising men who have been abandoned by the high street fashion industry, with its obsession with skinny fits and cheap-looking shiny cotton suits and blazers. They need well-made, well-fitting classics made with natural fibres with a modern twist. They want to see well-presented clothes, not piles of flimsy acrylic jumpers and cheap chinos sold market-stall fashion.
You've made a start, for example, with the Richard James Savile Row-inspired collection - British fabrics and British style. But such gems need to be sold in the right environment, by getting some style and finesse back and re-establishing Marks and Spencer as a quality British brand.
I'd be happy to help.
A man searching for style in middle age