Would you ever admit to buying an item of clothing, let alone your
whole wardrobe, from a supermarket? Cheap, mass-produced and poor
quality are the sort of adjectives that supermarket fashion conjures up
for most of us, but not for Jo Kenrick, marketing director for George
The brand - which has been sold in Asda stores for the past eight years
and has, in that time, become a pounds 500 million business - now makes
up her entire work wardrobe and some of her husband’s too. ’When I
accepted the job, I decided to wear only George clothes to work from
that day forward,’ she says. I can only wonder what Kenrick’s wardrobe
must have consisted of previously, when she was as a management trainee
at Mars Confectionery.
Last week George unveiled its latest advertising push, showcasing the
’back to school’ children’s clothing range now in the stores. The
campaign, by Publicis, will be used to convince shoppers that
supermarket clothes are not what they used to be. ’Fashion takes itself
far too seriously and should be more accessible ,’ Kenrick says.
George childrenswear - a range which stops at age 13 to avoid overly
label-conscious teenagers - sells in greater quantities than the adult
collections but Kenrick is convinced that women will soon be putting
more items for themselves and their partners in their shopping
We can expect more TV advertising soon, with campaigns focusing on
ladies’ evening wear (timed for the Christmas party season) and the1999
spring collection. The budget will be close to pounds 3.5 million. With
product lines changing approximately 85 times a year, TV campaigns have
to be relatively short-lived and normally run for about three weeks. The
idea is that as housewives tend to do their grocery shopping on a weekly
basis, they will see new clothes every time they visit the store.
Kenrick believes the success of the George brand is all about
understanding how women shop and harnessing a female shopper’s desire to
seek out that next bargain to boast about to her friends.