Britain's Marks & Spencer has bought a 25% stake in womenswear brand Nobody's Child, as it seeks to accelerate a revival in its clothing arm, it said on Tuesday.
The investment in Nobody's Child is part of the group's 'Brands at M&S strategy', which utilises different models including wholesale agreements, exclusive collaborations, strategic acquisitions, such as January's purchase of Jaeger, and equity investments.
The aim is to broaden the appeal of M&S's clothing business.
The group now trades with more than 30 partners from Sloggi lingerie to Ghost dresses to Clarks school shoes.
M&S first partnered with Nobody's Child in September 2020.
Most-Visited Guest Brand
'From the outset, Nobody’s Child was popular on M&S.com and it continues to drive traffic as the most-visited guest brand,' M&S said, noting its range of midi dresses has been particularly popular.
M&S did not disclose how much it paid for the stake.
Richard Price, MD of M&S clothing and home, commented, "We’re shaping the future of M&S Clothing - the strength of our own-brand product, our broad customer base and the reach of M&S.com makes us an attractive platform partner. In turn, introducing brands helps us become more relevant, more often for our 22m customers – offering them a convenient and seamless shopping experience.
"Nobody’s Child was the first brand to launch on M&S.com and has proved incredibly popular with new and existing M&S customers. We will continue to collaboratively develop the offer on our site, whilst now supporting the brand to grow independently as part of the M&S Family."
Earlier this month M&S beat forecasts for first-half profit and upgraded its earnings outlook for the second time this year, sending its stock soaring on bets that one of Britain's most elusive corporate turnarounds could finally materialise.
Shares in M&S are up 80% so far this year.
They rose 2% on Monday after a report in The Sunday Times said US investment firm Apollo Global Management has been 'running the rule' over the firm.
News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.