Marks & Spencer is set to launch a major push to sell more high-street brands alongside its own clothes in a bid to entice shoppers away from high-street rivals Next and John Lewis.
According to the Telegraph, the retailer is thought to be planning to increase the number of third-party brands it sells to 100 from 60, with hopes it will significantly boost sales.
It has already started selling clothes from brands including Crew Clothing, Nobody’s Child and Joules alongside its own fashion lines.
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Senior figures believe third-party sales could eventually be as high as £1bn – almost a tenth of total revenues for M&S, which last year posted sales of £10.9bn.
The push into third-party brands is being driven by new hire Nishi Mahajan, who the business poached last month from her role running Amazon’s fashion business.
Part of the growth will be driven by clothing, but M&S is also looking to sell beauty sportswear and homeware brands on its website.
The step-up will mean more investment from M&S into warehouse space, although it is not currently seeking to buy any specific depots.
M&S started selling brands on its website two years ago and has enjoyed significant growth from shoppers looking for high-street names on its site.
In the three months to the end of December, sales of third-party brands were up 50%.
The push by M&S comes after a similar rollout of more lines on rival Next, which has gone from 500 third-party brands to 1,000 in around three years.
A spokesman for M&S said the company was, however, 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 our customers to navigate”.
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