M&S denies costly uniform error

20 September 2000
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21 September 2000

Marks & Spencer denies it lost thousands of pounds when it mistakenly purchased see-through blouses as part of its staff uniform.

"The new uniforms were being rolled out gradually. We have now stopped making the blouses and it will not constitute a great cost," said an M&S spokeswoman. New staff blouses should be available by December.

An M&S spokeswoman acknowledged that the crepe de chine blouses were trialed in several stores in navy and black, but following staff feedback were issued to 70 of the company's 300 branches in cream. Several staff complained about them and were offered a crewneck cream top in a different fabric.

Other high-street retailers try to avoid similar problems and save money by allowing staff to wear clothes from the store's range. The ranges have already undergone rigorous customer trials for convenience of washing, suitability and durability.

Gap staff are given 50 per cent off all merchandise and additional discounts for work wear. And Jaeger frontline staff stopped wearing identical uniforms a year ago, said a Jaeger spokesman. They now receive a fixed sum to spend in-store on work clothes. "It's a better system, and avoids problems of items not suiting or fitting staff," he said.

SMsep2000

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