Jaeger to make a return in countrywide M&S trial – shop-in-shop experiences

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In a trial involving 12 M&S stores some, such as in Bluewater Shopping Centre and Edinburgh, will feature a shop within a shop housing Jaeger products. Others will have Jaeger display items for customers to view and then order online. Jaeger was founded in 1884, the same year as Marks and Spencer, however it went into administration in 2017 following pressure from the rise in online shopping. It was then bought by Edinburgh Woollen Mill who subsequently went into administration themselves in late 2020. A rescue arrived for the brand though in the form of Marks and Spencer who bought it out earlier this year for £6m.

Managing Director of Jaeger Fiona Lambert said: “There’s nothing more exciting than relaunching a brand and we are delighted to have taken the fabulous heritage of Jaeger and reimagined it with British modernity and sensorial quality that we believe will create ‘tomorrow’s vintage’.

“From the luxe wool suit to the tartan mini, this first capsule collection truly gives a flavour of what Jaeger will stand for – effortless elegance.”

Ms Lambert comes with a wealth of retail expertise having previously launched George at Asda and held positions at Next and River Island.

The in-store revival accompanies the launch of Jaeger’s new Autumn and Winter 2021 capsule collection which will include products inspired by the fashion brand’s archives such as silk dresses and wool coats.

The acquisition of Jaeger is part of M&S’s broader ‘Brands at M&S’ strategy which sees the retailer stocking other clothing brands such as Hobbs, Phase Eight and Joules.

The idea is to give M&S the chance to try to stretch customer appeal and introduce customers to something new.

Managing Director of M&S Clothing and Home Richard Price described the strategy as: “shaping the future of M&S Clothing to be more relevant, more often for our customers – responding to the emergence of platform retailing alongside utilising the strength of our own brand product engine”.

Founder of retail analyst Savvy Catherine Shuttleworth told Express.co.uk: “Since M&S bought Jaeger they have been working behind the scenes to breathe life into this quintessential British Brand – they have created a separate design team to stay true to what the brand is about but utilised the strength of the M&S machine of supply chain, shops and huge online presence to get the brand in front of more shoppers.

“There are tactical opportunities to try out physical retail for Jaeger; in the right locations with the right customer base this launch in blue water will be a good test for M&S to see how shoppers interact with the product and hopefully it will being in new shoppers to store.”

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However consumer and retail expert Kate Hardcastle cautioned that M&S already have challenges with what fashion means to their customers and layering on more brands and confusion might not be the thing that’s right.

Speaking to Express.co.uk she explained: “Jaeger is a beautiful heritage brand but the price point is very different to M&S. Part of Jaeger’s prestige was boutique style shops and the experience has to feel good if selling products at 10 times the price of other normal products. The question is whether the shopper is going to understand it.”

“Also a pop up on a shop floor that is already energised would be good. M&S famously don’t have music, theatre or ambiance – you want Jaeger to nestle in a place that feels already like good retail – not feel alien.”

Marks and Spencer struggled during the pandemic posting its first annual loss for 94 years resulting in 7,000 job cuts.

However this year fortunes have begun to reverse with the company reporting it expected its annual profits to reach the top end of previous guidance of £300m to £350m.

The company’s shares are currently trading at 184p, just over double this time last year.

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