This week, M&S will begin selling iconic Clarks shoes online and in eight UK destination stores. This latest brand partnership under ‘Brands at M&S’ is part of continued momentum for the retailer in its strategic shift from “special occasion” clothing & footwear to everyday style & value. This strategy means growing in kids casual categories – from joggers to jeans, alongside M&S retaining its reputation as the “go to” retailer for trusted-quality, value school uniform.
Weekday Style: Smart Schoolwear & Shoes
Whilst M&S is market leading in several aspects of schoolwear, the retailer recognises the opportunity to introduce a trusted footwear specialist alongside its own range, as part of its brand strategy, and is therefore trialling a partnership with iconic school shoe retailer Clarks for 2021.
Across the market, “Back to School” is the third biggest retail event of the year. and following more than a year of disruption, this back to school season will be an important moment for many families.
Clarks best-selling school shoes will be available here in South Wales at Culverhouse Cross in Cardiff. Next month M&S will launch a major Back to School customer campaign focusing on being the “go to” for sustainably sourced schoolwear offering innovation and value, now with the added bonus of Clarks school shoes.
This year for Back to School parents will see M&S kidswear has put a renewed energy into making it easier to remember the “extras”, with items such as new socks and vests harder to miss when shopping online. As part of this focus on a complete offer M&S is also boosting its accessories range by introducing the brand Hype. Hype’s popular range of schoolbags and water bottles will be added to the M&S platform this summer.
Weekend Style: Cool & Casual
As part of reshaping M&S, the retailer is focused on being a destination for Kids casual as well as uniform and therefore the partnership with Clarks will also include a selection of daywear shoes. Clarks joins the kidswear brands already live online (Ben Sherman, Original Penguin, Elle Junior, Russell Athletic and Havaianas) with Little Joule, JACK & JONES JUNIOR and Somebody’s Child (the new kidswear range from Nobody’s Child – the first brand that launched online) also set to join the M&S Family this summer.
These exciting new brands will sit alongside M&S’s growing kids casual range including its 3 for 2 bundle deal* on basics and popular character ranges such as Harry Potter and Mr Men Little Miss. This summer when purchasing everything needed for Back to School customers will be able to buy into the newest character range from M&S – Space Jam 2, which ties in with the release of the new movie SPACE JAM2: A NEW LEGACY.
Jill Stanton is Director of M&S Kidswear (Womenswear & Beauty), she told us……
“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&S.com, as well as in eight of our destination stores. Our kidswear mission is to remain the “go to” for Back to School whilst growing our daywear offer and that’s all about being more fun for everyday – more comfortable, more colourful, more casual.
“As part of this we have a great opportunity to introduce curated brands to complement our offer – from our exclusive “mini-me” Ghost dresses which have been flying off the shelf, to the new brand from Nobody’s Child – Somebody’s Child. It’s a really exciting time for M&S Kids and we’re looking forward to hearing our customers’ feedback, from both parents and kids.”
M&S Kids is growing ahead of the market with market share +0.5% versus pre-pandemic. It is now the third biggest online kids clothing website in the UK, customers benefit from free next day click & collect across over 600 M&S stores nationwide including Food only locations.