Thursday, September 13, 2007

Will Marks have the Sparks?

The new era is upon us, or so Marks and Spencer would have us believe. As reported before, the venerable British brand is finally opening its first Taipei store this coming Saturday on Chunghsiao East Road section 4. The event will be followed by the launch of a second store at New York New York shopping mall next Thursday.
Once the mainstay of every British main street, the chain expanded to Europe but got into trouble there, not in the least because its rather old-fashioned, conservative image could not measure up to the Zara's and H&M's of this world.
In Taiwan, of course, there are no official H&M or Zara stores - yet - so that kind of competition will not be feared. But I'm still skeptical that Marks and Sparks, as the brand is commonly known, has it to make it on this island. Looking at the advertising, like this photo from the pages of the latest Taiwan edition of GQ, I see the same kind of men's gear you find at G2000, to name but one local chain. And the women's clothes you can find on their web site are not that different from what you can find at dozens of other chain stores.
Look for yourself at if the company will become a household name in Taiwan or go the way of that other great British institution, Boots.


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