British retailer Marks & Spencer 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.
'An Exciting Opportunity'
Director of Brands at M&S, Neil Harrison, added, “With customers increasingly looking to shop on platforms, we have an exciting opportunity to leverage our infrastructure and digital-first Sparks loyalty scheme to grow ‘Brands at M&S’.
"We’re offering our time-pressured customers more choice with a curated group of value for money, contemporary, stylish brands with sustainability credentials – improving our online offer and making us more relevant, more often."
Other new brands launched on Monday include Albaray, Celtic & Co, Craghoppers and Frugi.
Encouraging Response From Consumers
'Early results on brands driving frequency have been encouraging, with traffic on M&S.com 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.
Marks & Spencer reported an 88% slump in full-year profit, as its clothing division was impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic.