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Marks and Spencer (London)
Member Name: rachelew
Marks and Spencer (London)
It's tricky to know where to start with writing a review about Marks and Spencer. A British Institution, and a place you can almost be 100% certain to find on any major high street.
I suppose I have a bit of a 'soft spot' for Marks and Spencer, or, 'Marks' my late grandmother always called it. She could call it what she liked really, she worked there for 40 years and was in fact the first ever female manager Marks and Spencer ever had...so that's where I get my soft spot. Rumour has it, at the age of 16, she was supposed to go away to nursing school. Her parents thought she had gone, but instead she got a Christmas job at M & S. They put her on the sweet counter and the first person through the door on her first day was her father. He never spoke to her again, but she went on to do great things.
Anyway, I digress! I am a Marks and Spencer fan, this wasn't always the case, but it seems to have grown on me since I hit 35! I'm not sure if this is because of my age or the fact that M & S seems to have changed so much in recent years. They sell a wide range of products and services, so I will address each in a list:
1. Women's Clothing, footwear and accessories.............
M& S have a fantastic range of women's clothing to suit all styles and tastes. Their Per Una range is their premium range and has some lovely pieces for both every day and special occasion wear. It can be a bit more pricey than you would expect, but they do use some lovely fabrics and if you want something a bit different it is a good place to look. Per Una also have their own shoes and accessories.
The Autograph range is more classic and has a good range of work wear. It is less expensive than Per Una, and has a lot more mix and match items and staple garments. They often have the same garment in a number of colour ways.
M & S also sell a range of clothing without a separate label. These are good quality basic items. You can buy everything from a pair of jeans to a tailored jacket in M & S.
The range of shoes is really good. They used to be quite old fashioned, but now there is a great range of styles to suit everyone. There is a great range of bags, some very reasonably priced, along with a range of colour coordinated fashion jewelry.
2. Children's clothing..........................
I don't buy kid's clothes from M & S as I don't have kids! However, I have bought a couple of presents and it seems to be great quality and value. I once bought a dress for a 3 year old in the sale for just 50p and it was lovely!
3. Men's clothing.................................
M & S sell a good range of mens clothing and footwear. My experience is a bit limited, but I did help a friend with a 50 inch chest buy a suit and he had no problems finding a really nice suit that fitted well. I have bought shirts from here as presents for my dad and they are some of his favourites. M & S is certainly a lot more on trend in their mens clothing than they once were.
M & S have some lovely homeware. A good range of designs and price ranges to suit your taste and budget. They sell everything for the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom as well as accessories to use throughout your home. They also sell furniture. My friend has a lovely sofa from here. The homeware section is particularly good for buying gifts.
M & S food hall is such a temptation! It isn't the cheapest place to buy food, probably similar in pricing to Waitrose, but it has some really nice things and some fantastic ready meals. Go there at your peril! All items are M & S branded, so you won't find any other products. I can honestly say I have never ever been disappointed by a single item I have bought in M & S food hall.
M & S Lingerie needs a category all of it's own. I'm would be shocked if there was any woman in the country who at some stage hasn't owned a pair of Marks and Spencer knickers or a bra! The lingerie department at my local store is vast and has everything from really basic bras and pants to bridal lingerie and breast enhancers. There are items to suit all sizes and all ages. In my opinion, the lingerie is well designed and really good value. It always seems to fit well and they are constantly bringing in new ranges or updating designs. They offer a bra fitting service so you can be sure to get something that fits you properly.
7. Other bits and pieces......................
There are a few other things you will find at M & S (as if that wasn't enough already!)
Make Up and toiletries - M & S have their own range. It's good value and there are some good products. A favourite shopping destination for Christmas presents!
Luggage - There is a range of luggage on sale, this is quite limited, but is good quality.
Cafe/restaurant - According to my Gran, the only place you should ever stop and eat (apart from Little Chef if you were on a long journey!) The cafe at my local M & S is fantastic. It's really well designed with nice leather seating and good lighting. They sell an excellent range of meals and snacks, of course it is all M & S brand food. A great place to stop for a coffee or a bite to eat on your next shopping trip.
Foreign exchange ( and bikinis) - They have a foreign exchange counter at my local store. I'm not sure how the rates compare with other exchanges, but it is convenient if you need to pick up some currency whilst buying a bikini and a suitcase....did I mention bikinis??? They sell those too! (and sun hats, suncream and beach towels)
Returns and exchanges - M & S are absolutely fantastic at this...they have a no quibble give you your money back or exchange an item within 28 days. I have returned many, many items without a hitch.
I am sure there are things I have missed, like greetings cards and fresh flowers and financial services, the fact that Twiggy is in the adverts and that their food hall ads make you very, very hungry! I have lived in a country where there was no M & S, and there was nothing that could compare. I love it, it's so British and it's getting better and better. Like the advert says, not bad for somewhere that started out as a penny bazaar!!
Summary: British to the core.
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