UK’s leading brand Marks & Spencer which entered the Indian market in 2001 and now has a joint venture with Reliance Retail is looking to spread its footprint this fiscals. It recently celebrated 10 years of trading in India with a special fashion gala unveiling its latest winter collections at its Connaught Place store in Delhi.
Bollywood actress Kalki had joined Marks & Spencer Reliance India CEO Martin Jones and his team to mark the occasion with an exclusive catwalk show. Over 200 guests attended the gala which showcased this season’s latest looks and must-have pieces from across M&S` popular clothing brands. The brand today boasts of 23 stores in India. Martin Jones, CEO, Marks & Spencer (M&S) Reliance India shares the journey of brand in India. Talking about the retail network spread, he said, “M&S current 23 stores are located in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Amritsar, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. It now has a strong platform in place to expand its presence in India and will continue to grow. This financial year M&S will open more stores in India, focusing on key cities such as Delhi.”
M&S product portfolio is divided into women’s wear, men’s wear, kids’ wear apart from accessories, lingerie, footwear and beauty range. Highlighting the autumn/winter collection, Jones says, “This season’s collection is an amalgamation of soft prints, romantic tapestries and brocades with subtle details. It has a bold color palette that highlights the autumn hues of mulberry and wintery shades of crimson, giving each ensemble a timeless yet innovative appeal. In men’s wear, formalwear is slim fitted and timeless with rich velvet blazers and heritage tweeds playing an important role. In casual wear, chunky knits and bold colors are key, worn with dark indigo jeans.”
The brands under M&S umbrella include M&S Man and M&S Woman, Limited Collection, Autograph, per una woman, Indigo, the North Coast menswear and sports-inspired Blue Harbour collection apart from Collezione menswear brand inspired by all things Italian. M&S has a strong presence in the suits category. Commenting on the styles in suits, Jones states that while core grey suits will always be in vogue, the change is predominantly in the fits, cuts and the silhouettes with slim and fashionable products becoming important. Slim fit suits are in vogue and so are the three button single breast blazers. M&S offers Limited Collection slim fit suits with cuts and silhouettes which fit close to the body.
Innovation is the key to the brand’s product offering, which includes many innovative products like the machine washable suits. “Wool blends and poly viscose blends are the fabrics in trend as they offer crease resistance and easy care. M&S jackets and Ultimate non-iron shirts in soft pure cotton offer great value to our customers,” he adds.
Jones feels Indian consumers are evolved in terms of fashion and are aware of the global trends as well as looking for options at great value. Marks & Spencer has an unrivalled reputation for offering great quality at affordable prices. “We already have a strong brand awareness among Indian consumers and they recognize the high quality and great value that our products represent,” Jones concludes on a positive note.