Marks & Spencer took out full-page print ads in several publications across the U.K. yesterday. Why? They were apologizing to women for a surcharge (approx. $3.50) on bras with DD cups or larger. (Read the full story in today’s Globe.)
There was such an outburst, Britain’s largest clothing retailer succumbed to public pressure and back-peddled on their policy. For example, to date,16,600 women joined a Facebook group called Busts 4 Justice in protest. Kudos to Marks & Spencer for listening to their customers. They decided to publicly apologize (hence the ads) and are offering a 25% discount on all bras for the next two weeks.
All this got me thinking about consumer activism and what we’ll tolerate when it comes to paying a premium on clothing (and footwear) according to size.
Don’t get me wrong, I instinctively thought there was something wrong with Marks & Spencer’s policy. But we pay a premium for larger sizes all the time. No one balks at stores specializing in clothing larger or taller women. Think about those stores charging higher prices for kids’ clothes as the size increases.
What do you think? Did Marks & Sparks cave too easily to pressure from a Facebook group or did they do the right thing? If you had been offended by a similar policy, would a public apology combined with discount be enough to restore your support? If not, what would it take?