But now, M&S are on a charm offensive headed up by Sir Stuart Rose - who has quite the illustrious history himself. He's not been very popular, but he always wears an M&S suit when he does public and shareholder appearances - I know that's pretty trivial but you would be surprised by how many CEOs preach about the quality of their products but don't choose to invest in the lifestyle they're trying to sell (a bit like Wagoner, Nardelli and Mulally choosing private jets!). Do what you want on your own time, but don't think that you're better than your consumers and they will keep coming to your store if you look down on your own products!
Now, TV adverts show Twiggy and Erin O'Connor prancing about in meadows wearing and eating M&S. To top it off, they are celebrating their 125th birthday by going back to their Penny Bazaar roots and offering a selection of 20 items for the princely sum of 1p (about 1.5c). I think this is a great marketing idea and ties in well to the current frugal lifestyle we are all trying to adopt. But take a look at these comments to a newspaper article - there's just no pleasing some people. As for me, I'm off to do my Christmas shopping for the next 20 years!