Marks & Spencer will start selling Clarks children’s shoes this week as part of its shift away from special occasion clothing.

Marks & Spencer will offer Clarks products online and in eight of its destination stores. 

The partnership is the latest M&S has struck with complementary third-party retailers and brands as it builds its ecommerce business and adapts more rapidly to changes to shopping habits accelerated by the Covid pandemic.

M&S is focusing on “everyday style and value” rather than occasionwear and sees an opportunity as part of that to bolster its position in kids’ casual items as well as school uniforms.

M&S said it is the market leader in “several aspects of schoolwear” but sees an opportunity to “introduce a trusted footwear specialist”. The arrangement comes ahead of the back-to-school period, which the retailer said is its third-biggest annual retail event and is expected to be particularly important after a year when children’s education was disrupted by the pandemic.

The Clarks range will include daywear as well as school shoes and will be the latest kids’ partnership that M&S has penned. Ben Sherman and Original Penguin are among the childrenswear brands already sold online by M&S and will be joined later this year by Little Joule, Jack & Jones Junior and Somebody’s Child – a new range from Nobody’s Child. 

The retailer said that M&S Kids is growing ahead of the market and it is now the third biggest online childrenswear retailer in the UK. 

M&S director of kidswear Jill Stanton said: “For millions, an M&S uniform with Clarks shoes is a rite of passage, so we’re making it even easier for parents by offering the option to purchase these together on M&, as well as in destination stores. 

“Our kidswear mission is to remain the go-to for Back to School whilst growing our daywear offer. As part of this, we have a great opportunity to introduce curated brands to complement our offer.”


Retail Horizon 2021

Partnerships are one of the five strategic priorities for businesses that Retail Week has identified in our advisory report, Retail Horizon 2021 – Winning Strategies to Navigate Disruption.

The report, compiled by our team of analysts and insight experts, aims to support retailers and brands in growing their business by assessing the major external influences shaping consumer mindsets and market trends – society, technology, economy, policy, industry and culture.

Retail Horizon 2021 gives businesses the confidence to make key strategic decisions about their markets, customers and resources going into next year and beyond.