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M&S Down Under-pants become international best seller
Jun '09
A recent survey of Brits abroad shows you can take the Brit out of Britain, but don't try and take their pants! The survey of 1,000 Brits living in Europe, the US and Australia shows that M&S underwear and tights are the products most missed by 'Brits abroad', with 70% of the votes, and until recently were also the products most difficult to source.

Since the launch of its online international delivery service to France, Germany, Spain, Australia , New Zealand, the US and Canada, M&S has sold more ladies knickers – the 'Down Under-pants' – to the Aussies, than any other nation. Orders have been dispatched as far-a-field as Mossman in the Daintree Rainforest and Kalgoorlie in the Western Australia goldfields.

Adult and kids' undergarments – including bras, underpants, socks and hosiery – make up more than a third of M&S products sold online internationally. No Visible Panty Line (VPL) knickers are the international pants of choice followed by high leg knickers.

In the first six months of delivering internationally, demand for M&S online is greatest in France, where sales are 40% stronger than the next best selling nation – Australia. Customers in France are snapping up that Bridget Jones favourite, Magic Knickers, with control-wear sales stronger than any other nation. While in the US M&S undergarment sales make up the top five best selling products, with men's plain cotton trunks top of the list.

Furthermore, in France, typically thought of as the heartland of high fashion, a third of items purchased are from the womenswear department, with 'per una' proving the best seller. It's also the strongest selling womenswear brand online. In Germany, school uniforms are a best-seller followed closely by babywear. And indicative of the large British expatriate communities in France and Spain, items for the home are also selling strongly, with luxury towels and pillowcases preferred purchases.

Director of M&S Direct Dave Hughes says: “In the UK we sell two pairs of knickers every second, so it just goes to show that M&S is fast on its way to providing the international pants of choice.

“We've had a great response, not just from Brits abroad who miss picking up the wardrobe staples with us, but from new international customers who've heard about the great quality we offer. Now since launching our own Facebook page with over 27,000 members, we're getting even more feedback.

“As a result we will now extend our online delivery service to a further 70 countries in Europe, Asia and the Far East so that we can reach even more people and support our growing international business.”

The launch of international delivery is an important step as part of M&S' commitment to grow sales of M&S Direct to £500m by 2010/11. It follows a series of new additions to the online business, including the launch of an online Wine Club, the introduction of 3,000 premium white goods online, development of the 'Your M&S for Business' portal for corporate gifting, as well as a customer reviews and ratings system.

Marks and Spencer plc

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