Marks & Spencer has bought a 25% stake in womenswear brand Nobody’s Child.
The minority investment is the latest move by the retail stalwart to increase its branded clothing business as part of its long-term transformation strategy.
Nobody’s Child was founded in 2015 by Andrew Xeni as an affordable and responsible fashion brand.
The company has continued its rapid growth over the past year, as it has benefited from partnering on M&S’s online platform.
M&S said the brand drives traffic as “the most visited guest brand” on M&S.com.
It highlighted that Nobody’s Child’s midi dress products have been particularly popular on the platform.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see Nobody’s Child continue to operate independently but it will be able to use M&S’s investment and infrastructure to grow at scale, it added.
The brands said that, as the partnership evolves, there will be further opportunity for collaboration.
M&S’s investment is part of its brand-focused strategy which has used different models including wholesale agreements, exclusive collaborations and strategic acquisitions to grow its clothing business.
The group also launched its first new Jaeger lines last month after buying the brand from administrators at the start of the year as part of the strategy.
The latest deal comes days after M&S raised its profit guidance on the back of a strong performance by both its clothing & home and food operations.
Richard Price, managing director of M&S clothing and home, said: “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.
“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.”
Jody Plows, chief executive officer of Nobody’s Child, said: “We are proud of the growth over the last year and particularly our M&S partnership.
“Nobody’s Child is an independent brand, with a passionate team committed to delivering easy to wear pieces from sustainable fabrics at affordable prices. This remains the driving force behind everything we do.
“We are delighted this also resonates with the M&S customer and feel Nobody’s Child is perfectly positioned to meet the needs of a wider audience.”
Nobody’s Child clothes will be launching into M&S stores from next year as part of the move.