M&S is to introduce six more fashion brands to its online platform as it builds its ecommerce operations.

Marks & Spencer screenshot showing Nobody's Child range sold online

Nobody’s Child was the first third-party brand to be sold on M&S.com

Over the Next few weeks Marks & Spencer, which began to sell complementary third-party brands online earlier this year, will launch ranges from sustainable womenswear specialist Albaray, Celtic & Co, outdoor clothing company Craghopper, Fat Face, children’s clothing specialist Frugi and Jones Bootmaker. 

They join brands ranging from Clarks to Smiggle on the M&S website.

The sale of external brands is a key plank of M&S’ strategy to power up its online business, following the creation last year of the MS2 division, which has licence to act as a pureplay.

The addition of third-party ranges is expected to increase the frequency of shopping on M&S.com. The retailer said that a survey of its customers revealed that 73% had purchased clothing and footwear brands from a retailer acting as a platform so it is adapting to that trend. 

The brands are also drawing in new shoppers: 14% of customers who bought items from Nobody’s Child – the first brand to be sold on M&S.com – were new to M&S womenswear. 

Although primarily an online initiative, M&S will also sell third-party brands in some stores following a pilot at Westfield Stratford City.

They will be stocked in Argyle Street in Glasgow, Bluewater in Kent, Cheshire Oaks, Manchester and Gateshead’s Metrocentre. 

M&S director of brands Neil Harrison 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.” 

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