The Beginning Of The End?

For Marks and Spencer? Well that’s how it seems to me after a quick visit today for my lunch. It was my first confrontation with the new policy of putting brands into their stores. Kit Kat, Red Bull and others are now on shelf alongside the more expected Marks and Spencer offerings.

Why would they do this? Because they’re worried about Waitrose? Because it can bring more margin? Because consumers want it? I can believe the first two but can’t imagine the British population is desperate to have yet another outlet for soft drinks and confectionary. Apparently though, they are indeed responding to consumer demand.

For me this action signals the final death throes of a once mighty marketing machine. A retailer with a clear and unequivocal way of marketing. Seeking the best in quality. Boldly innovating. Prepared to accept this business strategy would not appeal to everyone. All now thrown away or watered down to achieve short-term results.

Very simply put, they have lost their unique positioning.