Marks & Spencer has unveiled a new direction for its per una sub-brand with the aim of shifting the customer perception of the line from “too frilly” to “stylishly feminine”.
As part of the revamp the retailer has also created the first major campaign for its most recognised sub-brand in over five years.
The new winter product, which launching today, showcased lots of prints and soft tailoring, as well as quality fabric such as British wool.
Investment in marketing has been made across all major customer channels – from billboards, to print ads, to influencer marketing, email and social media. It also includes stores windows and the per una product will be the first thing customers see when they walk into an M&S store.
The move is part of a wider strategy to simplify its sub-brands and make the stores more appealing to the “family age” shopper. As part of this it has ditched its Classics sub-brand.
M&S now offers customers two distinctive brands that support the wardrobe essentials of M&S Collection. These sub-brands are Autograph and the newly refreshed per una – each of which has its own section in M&S’s stores and on M&S.com.
Jill Stanton, Director of Womenswear & Kidswear at Marks & Spencer said: “M&S is changing and we’re focussed on delivering what matters to our customers; great value contemporary, easy to wear style and quality wardrobe essentials backed up by an easy shopping experience.
“Responding to this we’ve redesigned our womenswear ranges and simplified our sub-brands – focusing on where we can offer a point of difference for our customers. Alongside our M&S Collection wardrobe essentials we’re proud of our two clear sub-brands – Autograph and per una. With per una we’ve refreshed a much-loved brand to give it a more contemporary feel with lots of soft tailoring and beautiful prints.”
Nathan Ansell, Director of Clothing & Home Marketing at Marks & Spencer added: “Per una is our biggest and best-known sub-brand – but in recent years it’s lost some its identity. So, we’ve been talking to thousands of our customers about what they have loved about per una in the past and tried to recapture that in the in the contemporary brand relaunch.
“The design teams have done a great job bringing that soft, feminine, floral feel to the product and we wanted the campaign to match that – so went to stunning British countryside – natural and effortlessly beautiful, we think it perfectly complements the new product.”
per una was launched into M&S in 2001 initially a joint venture between the retailer and Next and George at Asda founder George Davis. M&S bout the label from Davis in 2004.
News of its revamp comes after M&S CEO Steve Rowe admitted to analysts last week that the turnaround of its fashion business was 18 months behind schedule.