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M&S set to boost third-party offering to rival NEXT and John Lewis

Chloe Burney
20 March 2023

High street retailer Marks & Spencer is preparing to enlist third-party brand in an attempt to lure shoppers from competitors NEXT and John Lewis.

The British retailer plans to increase the number third-party brands it sells from 60 to 100, aiming to drastically drive sales. The initiative is being pushed by Nishi Mahajan, who the business poached last month from Amazon.

The retailer already stocks brands including Ted Baker, Superdry and Crew Clothing, alongside its own fashion lines. Recently, M&S welcomed eco-conscious fashion brand Nobody’s Child to 30 stores across the UK from March to August as part of its ‘Brands at M&S’ intiative.

Senior figures have estimated that third-party sales could reach £1 billion, which is a tenth of the retailers total revenues (2022: £10.9 billion). In 2022, almost all shoppers buying a non-M&S brand online also bought something own-brand.

This news comes after a similar rollout of brands at NEXT, which has rocketed from 500 third-party brands to 1,000 in just three years.

A spokesman for M&S told the Times that the company is taking a different approach to NEXT, and instead was being "very clear that curated choice is key – not a plethora of brands that are hard for customers to navigate".

Shore Capital's Clive Black said the third-party brand sales would be lower-margin for M&S, but added that it would bring more shoppers onto M&S's website or into stores, where they may be tempted to buy other items.

Last year, M&S also welcomed Clarks Kids, Smiggle and Hype into its stores as part of its 'Brands at M&S' strategy, providing a one-stop-shop for Back to School. This curation is reportedly driving new customers, frequency and increased spend at M&S.

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