M&S rolls out change for shoppers who wear 'smaller' womenswear sizes

M&S is rolling out a change for shoppers who wear smaller sizes. Marks & Spencer is increasing its stocks of smaller sizes in womenswear after a surge in demand left gaps on shelves, the retailer - which has stores in Birmingham - has said.

Stuart Machin, the chief executive of the high street stalwart, said that three years ago about a fifth (21%) of the items sold from its main seasonal collection were size six to 10 and that had now risen to 35% as its “fashion and style ranges [were] resonating with a different customer group”.

Mr Machin said on Tuesday that he had personally looked at the orders on smaller sizes to ensure there were more and “if we sell out in autumn winter we’ll be doing very well”. A spokesperson for M&S, which stocks women’s clothing from size six to 24, said: “We’re not moving away from larger sizes, it’s more about getting better at responding to demand and making sure we have the right size mix and availability for all of our customers – which is something we haven’t always got right.”

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Pippa Stephens, senior apparel analyst at GlobalData, said M&S’s decision to start stocking outside brands will help boost its appeal with younger shoppers while the design of its own-label gear now had “more fashionable shapes and prints”. Shoppers were now more trim and “more aware of exercise and healthy eating”, Pippa said.

It comes days after it emerged Marks & Spencer is to launch a clothing repair service. Richard Price, the managing director of clothing and home at M&S, said: “At M&S, exceptional quality products are at the heart of everything we do, and we want to ensure that all our clothes are too good to waste.

“Through the launch of our repair service, we’re making it even easier for customers to give their clothes another life, whether they are using our new repair service or longstanding clothes recycling scheme.