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Friday, 28 September, 2001, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Shoppers rush for M&S's new look
Coat from Marks and Spencer's new collection
The "per una" line aims to woo fashion-conscious customers
It is a make-or-break collection for M&S, but if reaction at its flagship store in London is anything to go by the new "per una" line is set to rekindle the consumers' love affair with the High Street stalwart.

The frenzied rush for the clothes rails and long queues at the cash tills are a good indication that the clothes, designed by Next founder George Davies, met with shopper's approval.

Margaret Sherrington
Margaret Sherrington: Good quality
Margaret Sherrington told BBC News Online that the range was far more fashionable and interesting than anything M&S has produced in recent years.

"The colours are fantastic and the detailing on the clothes is great," she said.

"I have always shopped at M&S but in the last few years I have been disappointed by what is on offer and have started to shop at other stores.

'Trendy'

"This range will change all of that. It is trendy and really good value. M&S will definitely be able to compete with other High Street stores."

Even though the range is aimed at women in their 20s and early 30s, Jenny Ashplant, 62, said it had a much wider appeal.

"I am older but I still want trendy clothes and I just love this new range," she said,

Jenny Ashplant
Jenny Ashplant: Clothes for me and my daughters
"It is very different to recent lines and has more of an edge to it. The colours are beautiful and the quality is impressive.

"I have always been a M&S shopper but in recent years I have been disappointed. The quality and style seemed to have slipped. This range has definitely changed that.

"I will be coming back again because of a lot of the stuff I like is already sold out.

"I will also tell my three daughters to come and have a look. This range has something for all of us."

Stylish

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Roberts said the new line had picked up on popular trends like denim.

"There is a lot of trendy stuff that would appeal to girls of my age," she said.

M&S store
Queues at the tills were long
"It is usually hard to get me out of Top Shop but I will tell my friends to come here."

Karen Murray said the range was more fashion led and as a result was more stylish and up-to-date. She also said the layout of the store had improved.

"The range has the feel of a real fashion collection about it," she said.

"The fabrics are really good quality and the clothes are well made."

Sarah Staines agreed that the layout of the store really set off the range.

Male approval

"It is really nice stuff," she said.

"I have always shopped at M&S. There has always been good stuff in the stores but you had to really hunt for it. The presentation now is so much better."

Even male shoppers had nothing but praise for the new line.

Karen Murray
Karen Murray: Fashion-led collection
Louis James said it made shopping for his wife's birthday present a lot easier.

"There's loads of stuff here that she would like. I had started to think of M&S as a bit frumpy but these clothes are really trendy."

And two male fashion buyers, who wished to remain anonymous as they were having a sneaky peek at the competition, admitted the range was good.

"Good fabrics and well-made clothes," they said.

"The presentation is also fantastic. We have to admit we are impressed."

See also:

28 Sep 01 | Business
Struggling M&S launches new range
28 Sep 01 | Business
Can 'one woman' save M&S?
28 Sep 01 | Business
The rise and fall of M&S
11 Jul 01 | Business
M&S clothes sales slump further
11 Jul 01 | Business
M&S: What the experts say
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