Anew and prominently placed
British Marks & Spencer crossed the Channel after 10 years of absence and presented itself last Thursday prominently in the French capital city
The new flagship store is located on Champs Elysées (three stories high) and only a first step to challenge local French competition. Of course Marks & Spencer is offering its total lines with clothing, food and home-furnishing. Available are about 10 % of women’s clothing line and some convenience food and groceries. First customers complained that there is no children’s ware available. Traffic will be extended also by the new e-commerce site where the full range of fashion and home goods are to be ordered, however it implies charges for delivery and returns.
It is planned to have three stores in France by 2013 and has to be seen as an effort to depend a bit less on its home market. In total M&S is present in 42 different markets but was leaving continental Europe ten years ago by closing 38 stores and thereof 18 in France. The reason for closing down was the fact that is was losing sales to new fast-fashion competitors. French Monoprix (joint venture between French retailer Groupe Casino and department store chain Galleries Lafayette) quickly filled the gap left by M&S.