London, 2017-Aug-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — This Back to School season Marks & Spencer is improving its uniform offering for customers by trialling a new service in shoe fitting.
Ahead of the busiest day for Back to School shoe shopping (Saturday 26th August), M&S has introduced dedicated Footwear Fitting Advisors in 36 stores to help parents and their little ones find the right shoes for the new term. It’s the first time M&S has offered this service, with training being rolled out to 750 colleagues to ensure they can offer assistance and advice on measurement, fit and style.
M&S is committed to developing ranges and services in areas of growth opportunity. The retailer, who already sells a quarter of a million school shoes a year, including 30,000 in August alone, identified footwear as a key opportunity within school uniform. Customers told M&S that whilst they shop the wider uniform offer at M&S, they often seek more specialist advice when it comes to childrens’ footwear. In response, M&S has introduced the new service to help support parents in making this more considered purchase.
The new service launches as the College of Podiatry has released research showing 29 per cent of British children could be wearing shoes which are completely the wrong size. The practical training for M&S colleagues included understanding the development of the foot from baby through to teen and basic principles of good fitting shoes for foot health.
Niamh De Frinse, Kids’ Footwear Technologist at M&S said, “There’s lots for customers to think about to get the kids ready for the new term and properly fitted footwear is an important part of that. We want to be the retailer of choice for parents this ‘Back to School’ season, not just for the kids’ uniform, but for their shoes too, enabling us to grow our market share. Our customers have told us that offering a fitting advice service will give them the confidence to make that important purchase with us and if the trial is successful we hope to offer this service at even more of our stores in the future”.
The fitting trial is part of M&S’s continued effort to offer the very best services for customers – earlier in the year it increased investment for walk in bra fit and last year feedback from 7,000 customers led to the recruitment of 3,000 more colleagues into departments where service is most valued, including suit fitting.
M&S has also created a handy printable fitting guide for parents who want to purchase shoes online.
Notes to Editors
- For more information on the College of Podiatry research click here
- To read more about the quality and innovations in M&S schoolwear click here (a blog from schoolwear technologist Charlotte Hunt
- Stores offering the fitting service include: Argyle Street Glasgow, Belfast, Braehead, Birmingham, Bluewater, Bromley, Camberley, Castlepoint, Charlton, Cheshunt, Cheshire Oaks, Croydon, Culverhouse Cross, Gemini, Handforth Dean, Hedge End, Kingston, Lisburn, London Colney, Longbridge, Marble Arch, Manchester, Meadowhall, Merryhill, Merton, Metro Centre, Milton Keynes, Monks Cross, Newcastle, Newtownbreda, Plymouth, Pudsey, Stratford, Thurrock, White City, Wolstanton Stoke