High street giant Bonmarch has started to target younger shoppers by using modern television advertisements. This is the first time they have done so since joining forces with Mark Heyes, TV fashion celebrity. Heyes made his claim to fame through the Lorraine Kelly show.
Bonmarche, one of the UK’s oldest and best known clothing retailers, has entered into a partnership with Mark Heyes, celebrity fashion icon who gained fame on the Lorraine Kelly show. Their first order of business was to target a younger audience, which is why the store has launched a brand new advertisement.
The average age of a shopper at Bonmarche currently stands at 65. However, the store, headquartered in Wakefield, would prefer to attract younger women as well. Mark Heyes is now targeting women in their early 50s, therefore, who, if perhaps not “young” in the conventional sense of the world, are certainly still in the prime of their life.
40% of women in Britain, or 12.7 individuals, are now over the age of 50. By 2020, this will have risen to 50%. Attracting this audience, therefore, is a very strategic move. The advertisement was piloted in 90 different locations, and it was hugely successful. As a result, it was rolled out nationally, as well as being supported by a press advertising and magazine campaign.
The move came after it was announced that there was a significant drop in the pre-tax profits of the store. However, these figures were not discouraging as they were weather-related, and Bonmarche did perform better than many of its competitors. In fact, in terms of like for like sales, they actually saw an increase.
A representative from Bonmarche says: “Because our audience is slightly older than your average high street store, the weather plays a huge role on whether or not people shop with us, and on what they buy. In 2016, there was little to no reason for anyone to purchase clothes that were seasonal. While this certainly affected us, it affected other stores, which traditionally have only seasonal clothes, far worse. All in all, therefore, it was actually a pretty good year for our store, and we believe that, through the partnership with Mark Heyes, we will continue to go from strength to strength.”
Bonmarche has been a feature of the British high street for a very long time. Unlike other stores, which continue to a certain demographic only, the store has grown with its original customers. When they first started, they were hip and trendy, but they decided to grow and age alongside its original shoppers, with the consequence of now having a traditionally older audience. Now, the company feels, it is time to change that to a degree, enabling women in their 50s to become the new trendsetters.
The Bonmarche representative adds: “50 is the new 30, as they say, and yet it is a forgotten demographic. You will find few 50 year old women who are happy to wear a crop top and ripped skinny jeans. But at the same time, we cannot expect them to wear pleated skirts to just above the ankles and flowery blouses either. What we believe is that, if we can target these women, they can become the trendsetters for those older than them. What a woman in their 50s can wear, a woman in her 60s can wear as well. In so doing, we aim to remain relevant to an ever-widening audience. These are exciting times, and we’re so happy to see how well-received our television advertisements have been so far. Working with Mark Heyes was truly an amazing idea!”