Tag Archives: high street retail

Only Monzo can help retailers like Marks and Spencer be digital innovators

Image Copyright : Great Yarmouth Mercury

The headlines and even a TV documentary this past week have suggested that Marks and Spencer are in an irreversible decline. Will they go the same way as BHS, Comet, Phones4u and so many more?

As the Telegraph’s Jeremy Warner writes HERE ” M&S’s problems are entirely self-inflicted – a dowdy, out-of-date clothing range, a stores format that looks like something out of Communist Russia, lousy IT and logistics, and an online presence that is way behind the curve. The world has changed; M&S has failed to change with it.’ That’s a bit harsh in my view especially in light of the many other retailers who are in considerably deeper trouble. Marks and Spencer’s greatest strength ‘A store on every high street’ has become the exact opposite.

More widely as Sky News’s Adam Boulton succinctly points out HERE the death of the High Street is nigh!

Of course, M&S is just one of many retailers dealing with rapid change in shopping habits and technology.

It strikes me that the ‘wind direction’ has suddenly changed or to mix metaphors we have reached the tipping point. Yet retailers have responded with a remarkably timid approach more ‘managed decline’ than bold change.

As McKinsey say HERE ‘As digital technology erodes profit and revenue growth, why aren’t companies responding with bold strategies?

Marks and Spencer have an excellent CEO but he is an insider. Maybe that’s not such a good thing when the tectonic plates are shifting.

In Banking its social disruptors like Monzo ( an App that’s become a Bank and through Social Proof has grown to 600.000 mainly millennial customers in 3 years) that are achieving real growth maybe that’s the issue here.

To really make the leap they need I think M&S need to be a Social and Digital Disruptorand make a much-reduced estate of stores into showrooms experiences and social spaces.

Maybe M&S need to appoint Tom Blomfield (Monzo’s CEO) as a non-Exec Director! Of course, I’d be happy to help too and even though I’d be cheap by comparison Tom would add so much more value.

Richard Dawson

This article can also be found on LinkedIn HERE