M&S pulls out the stops to get fashion shoppers in-store in December
As shops in England prepare to reopen on December 2, the big names are going the extra mile to encourage consumers into physical spaces after a year in which enforced closures have devastated their visitor traffic and revenues.
M&S is reopening with extended hours as well as a team of 1,800 ‘Magic Makers’ who will “spread festive cheer and help keep customers safe”.
The company is also launching 12 Days of Giveaways, offering over 7,500 customers a “Christmas shop on us”.
The company’s shops have largely remained open during the English lockdown, but its all-important clothing sections have remained out of bounds and these will now all open.
The so-called Magic Makers will be identified by the sashes they're wearing and will be on hand to help shoppers. They've been selected for their customer service skills and will also manage counting customers into stores to ensure social distancing using M&S’s bespoke app.
“No M&S door will be seen without a Magic Maker – meaning up to eight will be on shift at any one time in M&S’s biggest stores,” it said.
The company’s shopping hours will gradually increase until Christmas and from December 21 up to December 23, around 400 shops will be open until midnight, the company’s longest-ever opening hours.
M&S has focused on digital solutions to ensure social distancing is maintained while queues are minimised. Sparks Book & Shop is live at all UK M&S stores so customers can book to shop at a time that suits them and 175,000+ slots have now been booked by customers.
And for those who do have a short wait when they arrive, M&S has begun to install temporary “festive tunnels” to shelter customers from the winter weather. They feature QR codes that link through to products.
Meanwhile, the Sparks loyalty programme’s 12 Days of Giveaways will see customers receiving their in-store or online basket for free. The giveaway will include one customer every day at every single store, as well as 50 customers a day online.
M&S also said it’s making its stores feel as “Christmassy” as possible following its research that showed this is what customers want. Its latest survey showed three-quarters of customers are looking forward to Christmas overall and they’re planning to do 40% of gift shopping in-store.
Extra in-store features will include more Christmas music on the playlist, two types of Christmas-scented hand sanitiser and more in-store decorations.
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