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M&S to add host of third-party brands to online offer

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Josie Clarke, PA Consumer Affairs Correspondent
·2-min read
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Marks & Spencer is to add brands including Joules, Triumph and Hobbs to its online offer as it seeks to “turbocharge” growth.

A total of 11 brands such as Jack & Jones, Phase Eight, Seasalt Cornwall, Sloggi and White Stuff will be added to M&S.com under the banner ‘Brands at M&S’ over the next three months

They are an extension of the high street giant’s new strategy of selling third-party brands, with existing tie-ups with the likes of Nobody’s Child and Ghost, and kidswear names including Ben Sherman and Original Penguin.

Partnerships with brands will vary from wholesale agreements to exclusive collaborations and occasional appearances, such as that planned for Jaeger, bought by M&S in January.

The retailer said the move, part of its “Never the Same Again” programme, aimed to make its clothing business more relevant to customers.

Almost 10% of customers who bought from the Nobody’s Child line were new to M&S womenswear, it said.

M&S director of brands Neil Harrison said: “As part of our Never the Same Again programme, we’re pleased to be introducing guest brands throughout the spring onto M&S.com as part of our plans to turbocharge online growth.”

Marks & Spencer revealed its overhaul plan to follow the coronavirus crisis in April last year, saying it expected its clothing and home arm to be “severely constrained” during lockdown and remain under pressure due to an expected phased lifting of social distancing restrictions.

It had already been grappling with years of disappointing trading in its clothing and home arm and had been looking to restructure the group to focus more on online sales.

Bosses revealed in January that sales in the three months to December 26 fell 7.6% on a like-for-like basis, with the food division growing 2.6%, but clothing and home sales dropped 24.1%, following Covid-19 restrictions.