Marks & Spencer Expands Online Platform With More Guest Brands

Marks & Spencer store. Shutterstock.

British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) said on Monday it would add more guest clothing and footwear brands to its website, including FatFace and Jones Bootmaker, after an initial wave of brands increased traffic and attracted new customers.

M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said last year the group, still Britain’s biggest clothing retailer by value, was shifting strategy and would sell other brands to broaden its appeal.

In January, M&S purchased the Jaeger brand and in March launched ‘Brands at M&S’, selling brands such as Hobbs, White Stuff and Joules on its online platform.

Over the summer kidswear brands were added to the platform including Clarks shoes and stationery brand Smiggle.

Other new brands launched on Monday include Albaray, Celtic & Co, Craghoppers and Frugi.

“Early results on brands driving frequency have been encouraging, with traffic on M& increasing and new customers who buy into a guest brand returning to make their second purchase nearly 10 days sooner than those who didn’t buy into brands,” M&S said.

“Importantly, brands also continue to attract new customers,” it said.

Whilst ‘Brands at M&S’ is predominantly an online offer, M&S plans to extend an in-store trial to five stores.

Rowe believes the Covid-19 pandemic has masked progress the 137-year-old M&S has made in its latest attempt at a turnaround after decades of failures.

Last month chairman Archie Norman said the group will surprise people with its financial performance.

By James Davey; Editor: Sarah Young

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