For the first time since the 1950’s M&S are to sell branded products rather than just their own St Michael products. This represents a major change in branding strategy for the retailer. Over recent years the retailer have gradually introduced some additional brands, starting with Per Una and Autograph in their clothing department, and then selling some branded electrical items and more recently newspapers which obviously have their own brands.
The move brings M&S into line with other food retailers, enabling their customers to purchase a much wider range of products, but will this dilute a key part of the M&S experience and reason for going to them rather than elsewhere? I guess only time will tell but Stuart Rose says it is in response to customer requests, and he has done a pretty good job of turning the fortunes of M&S round so he is probably right again.
Another interesting development to watch over the coming year.
More details on The Times