OAP’s demand M&S’s attention…as Jamie leaves Sainsburys

July 14, 2011

Marks and Spencer have been accused of failing to cater to the fashion needs of its over 60’s shoppers.

The “golden oldies” expressed concerns that all across the high street retailers were favouring increasingly racy outfits, obviously designed for the younger generations.

A 2000-strong crowd gathered at the M&S AGM, in which 75-year-old widow, Hilary Roodyn, received rapturous applause when she confronted the directors, demanding they address the balance.

Speaking at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Ms Roodyn said: “I do feel that you are missing a trick. You are not catering for the over-60s.

Demographically, we are growing and if you go on a cruise you’ll find a lot of us golden oldies wanting to wear pretty dresses. But we want to be covered up.”

The whole thing came to light as M&S recently revealed a series of healthy trading figures up against the background of a struggling high street.

Other chains going bust, such as Habitat and Jane Norman, no doubt increased their summer sales figures. As well as this, they introduced 500 new food ranges which increased food sales by 3.3pc. Inflation also added to sales, as average prices across the store were up 7pc than a year ago.

But despite all this, the customers, in particular the over-60’s, still feel their fashion lines are letting them down, by neglecting a powerful demographic.  Helen Garfield, friend of Ms Roodyn, told executives:

“We like to dress up and like to dress up quite modern, but comfortable, with nice fabric. We want to be covered up.

When we were younger we wanted to wear mini skirts, but didn’t have the money, now we’ve got the money but we can’t spend it.”

And it appears the M&S board were listening, chairman Robert Swannell said: “Next year my dear wife will be passing this age so I will be getting first-hand advice on this topic.”

Not too sure how his dear wife will respond to her age being made public, but it’s a positive sign for over-60’s anyway.

In other news…

Jamie Oliver, the celebrity chef, will step down as the face of Sainsbury’s, this Christmas after an 11-year association retailer.

The “pukka” chef, who rose to fame in the 1990s with his television series The Naked Chef, appeared in over 100 TV adverts for Sainsbury’s over the last 11 years.

The decision is believed to be a mutual one with Mr Oliver declaring it’s “a good time to move on”

Products that he has championed have often seen sales increase by hundreds of percent. The retailer’s Christmas 2011 campaign will be his last.