Today M&S is announcing the addition of six new clothing & footwear brands to M&S.com over the coming weeks including Albaray, Celtic & Co, Craghoppers (outdoor clothing), FatFace, Frugi (kids’ clothing) and Jones Bootmaker.
This is part of the retailer’s plan under its MS2 division to curate a platform of brands that are relevant for the M&S customer and offer them more reasons to shop more frequently on M&S.com. Each new brand will offer a curated range for the M&S customer that is complementary to the existing offer.
‘Brands at M&S’ initially launched for M&S’s 22m Clothing & Home customers in Spring with popular brands from Sloggi to Sosandar already available on the site, as well as a range of beauty brands that continues to expand with new brands such as Boucleme now live. Over the summer a number of kidswear brands have also been added to the platform including Clarks to support the schoolwear offer and just last week kids’ favourite stationery brand – Smiggle.
Growing M&S.com as a credible platform to drive frequency of shop is an important part of reshaping M&S’s Clothing & Home business. Customer adoption of this model of shopping is accelerating, in a recent customer survey 73% of M&S customers said they have purchased clothing & footwear brands from a retailer acting as a platform, and M&S continues to adapt to this trend. The ‘Brands at M&S’ team has grown to over 20 colleagues in a few short months and is dedicated to reacting to the drivers behind this customer trend.
For example, with 36% of M&S customers citing convenient delivery options as a key purchase choice for a platform, M&S is working hard to develop and promote its proposition – just last month announcing the rollout of new digital click & collect screens at stores across the UK. 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. Importantly, brands also continue to attract new customers, with 14% of customers who shop Nobody’s Child (the first ever brand on M&S.com) brand new to M&S womenswear.
M&S’s objective is to deliver an omnichannel Clothing & Home business backed by exceptional data and highly personalised customer relationships and ‘Brands at M&S’ is an important part of this. Whilst ‘Brands at M&S’ is predominantly an online offer, in addition to launching more brands M&S will also extend its Stratford in-store trial (pictured) to include Argyle Street (Glasgow), Bluewater, Cheshire Oaks, Manchester, and Metro Centre (Gateshead).
Neil Harrison, Director of Brands at M&S said, “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. We’re excited to be adding great new brands over the coming weeks, from Frugi to FatFace, as well as new drops landing for existing brands.”
The latest launch of brands comes ahead of Autumn/Winter when M&S will be demonstrating to customers a reshaped product engine across core ranges as well as refreshed in-house brands Autograph, Goodmove (now available in every store) and Per Una – which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. For Autumn/Winter M&S’s contemporary ranges have been bought in greater depth and aim to offer distinctive appeal to M&S customers.