My relationship with Marks & Spencer is a rocky one to say the least. We have a love/hate relationship that more often than not just tips to the hate side of the scale that little bit more. It’s not that I don’t want to like it; it just forces me to cower way every time my mum drags me into a store.
My immediate thought when I step over the threshold into the dreaded M&S is that I’ve just entered a world made especially for grandmas, gardeners and those who just love a bit of fleece, elasticated waists and the disastrous bead-on-string jewellery.
M&S claims to dress the whole family and this is admirable if not a little premature to say the least. This just leaves customers, myself included, confused and annoyed with 18 year-olds seeing ‘grandparent’ written all over everything and grandparents seeing the ‘younger’ collections in store and wondering where on earth the ‘young’ people are.
The days of Twiggy, Dannii Minogue and Myleene Klass frolicking through fields and picnicking among family, flowing dresses and all, nicely finished off by the peppy Gary Barlow rendition of ‘Here Comes the Sun’, seem to have well and truly disappeared. These have been replaced by the gloomy and overly dramatic adverts featuring the likes of Helen Mirren and Ellie Goulding. Is this supposed to make us want to buy the clothes more?
The clothes in M&S leave much to be desired in the way of fashion but the food on the other hand, is where the ‘love’ element of my relationship comes into play. Lashings of pastries, cream cakes and of course Percy pigs tempt me into the store every time I pass. There’s a reason why M&S has a very popular ‘Simply Food’ range but not a ‘Simply Elastic Waistbands’ range.