M&S used to offer the kind of clothes I would wear. I have no fashion knowledge, and effectively used to outsource that to M&S. I buy whatever shirt they have in stock, knowing I can go out in public wearing it without looking daft.
They seem to be in trouble with declining share prices and I wondered why. I hadn't been clothes shopping for a few months since my wardrobe was stuffed. But when we recently got a black tie dinner invitation, I took my wife there to get a new dress. We couldn't find one. We weren't being fussy, it's just that they only had three, all pretty similar. We searched the whole shop assuming we must have missed the appropriate section, but eventually gave up and went elsewhere. And come to think of it, I had the same trouble last year when I bought a new dinner suit, it took ages to find the right section because the layout had all changed, and when I did, there were very few choices. And I couldn't find the shirts I like either.
I think if this problem is a common one for their regular and loyal customers, it would explain why they are suffering. They have simply lost touch with what their customers want to buy, a potentially fatal problem if it continues. Too much trying to invent new styles and cater for new markets has left them alienating many of their existing customers, who want to spend money there, but can't.
Too bad. I'd like to help by buying stuff there, but they'll have to stock it first. My needs are simple - I just want ordinary everyday clothes that are reasonable quality, look OK, feel OK and don't cost a fortune. I suspect that's what the rest of their traditional customer base also wants.
Back to basics then.