By Gordon Beattie

I love M&S food but hate their fashion.

It’s dull, drab an dowdy.

No wonder the company is in trouble.

What can be done to restore their fortunes?

Expand their food offering, improve their designs and open thrift shops in their bigger stores.

More floor space for food and better designs are no-brainers but how can thrift shops help revive Marks & Spencer’s fading brand?

Let me emphasise, I’m not referring to the charity shops that populate every British high Street.

I’m talking about the luxury second hand stores that you see in wealthy communities across the US.

These upmarket showrooms sell second hand treasures including exquisite ball gowns, designer handbags and beautiful furniture, presented in an eye-catching setting.

Their goods are not cheap but they provide real value for money. What’s more, shoppers feel good because they’re helping save the planet by recycling.

These luxury thrift shops attract shoppers by the thousand – and that’s where M&S would really benefit.

Most people go to M&S to buy food. Upmarket thrift shops would give customers another incentive to visit, especially if 10% of the profits go to charity.