M&S open's menswear pop-up, Mike & Tom's shows category evolution
M&S opened a menswear pop-up on Wednesday with the ‘mystery’ store on Bateman Street in London’s Soho having generated a buzz over the past week while it was being set up. It doesn’t carry the M&S name so there was some question over who was behind it. It’s called Mike & Tom’s and is named after M&S’s founders Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer.
The pop-up invites visitors “to see the very best of” its menswear for Autumn/Winter “in a bespoke environment” being run by M&S staff from across the UK who are “champions” of its menswear offer.
Coming at the same time as mid-market department store chain John Lewis has revealed a new focus on own-brand menswear, it highlights the importance to under-pressure businesses of maximising their opportunities in product categories that are still growing, and menswear fits the bill.
For M&S, the pop-up is also particularly important given the challenges its clothing operations have faced in recent years and the store acts as a key tool in getting across the message about its transformed fashion offer.
The company said the pop-up "is designed to demonstrate the product improvements that M&S Menswear has made over the past year as part of the retailer’s efforts to improve style credentials and appeal to a wider customer base of menswear shoppers. Focusing on contemporary wearable style, the team has created product that offers improved style, slimmer fits and greater value.”
The edit in the store is focused on “style-led pieces and new season staples, encouraging customers to think differently about the brand and the relevancy of the offer.” And visitors will also be able to get early access to a selection of new pieces not yet available in-store or online.
M&S also said that the collection on show “builds on some of the success the team have already seen, such as in casual T-shirts, where slimming the fit and advertising that [fact] has seen sales improve.”
Wes Taylor, Director of Menswear at M&S added: “Mike & Tom’s isn’t just a pop-up shop to showcase our newest collection, it demonstrates the direction of Menswear at Marks & Spencer – more stylish, more contemporary, better fitting. We want to see more men giving M&S a try this Autumn/Winter and seeing us as a brand for them.”
The pop-up opens on Wednesday and will remain in operation until September 28 with styles on show including relaxed sweatshirts, camo print parkas and bags, cord ‘shackets’, check tailoring, wool caps and contrast sole trainers.
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