Following a positive first year of working together, M&S is evolving its partnership with Nobody’s Child by investing in the eco-conscious, affordable fashion brand – starting with a c. 25% stake.

Nobody’s Child will continue to operate independently but with the opportunity to utilise M&S’s investment and infrastructure to scale the business. In addition to being an exciting investment opportunity, M&S will benefit from the agility of Nobody’s Child, including the brand’s focus on near-sourcing supply, which has previously been identified as a growth opportunity.

As the partnership evolves there will be further opportunity for collaboration between the brands, including developing fashion and design talent and sustainability initiatives, for example both brands have recently launched on rental platform Hire Street. M&S and Nobody’s Child share a passion for responsible retailing and making clothes that don’t cost the earth.

In September M&S reset Plan A with an ambitious plan to rapidly reduce its own carbon footprint and support customers to make more sustainable choices and live lower carbon lives.

Brands at M&S strategy

The investment is part of the Brands at M&S strategy which utilises different models including wholesale agreements, exclusive collaborations, strategic acquisitions (such as Jaeger which has recently launched) and investments such as this one. The emerging platform strategy has produced encouraging results – M&S now trades with over 30 partners from Sloggi lingerie to Ghost dresses to Clarks school shoes. M&S is also investing in smaller retailers via the True fund which has recently seen the retailer bring Cornish-based kidswear brand Frugi onto M&S.com.

Nobody’s Child was founded in 2015 and its popularity, particularly on the M&S site, demonstrates great opportunity for growth. From the outset, Nobody’s Child was popular on M&S.com and it continues to drive traffic as the most visited guest brand.

Richard Price, MD of M&S Clothing & Home, said, “We’re shaping the future of M&S Clothing – the strength of our own-brand product, our broad customer base and the reach of M&S.com makes us an attractive platform partner. In turn, introducing brands helps us become more relevant, more often for our 22m customers – offering them a convenient and seamless shopping experience. Nobody’s Child was the first brand to launch on M&S.com and has proved incredibly popular with new and existing M&S customers. We will continue to collaboratively develop the offer on our site, whilst now supporting the brand to grow independently as part of the M&S Family.”

Jody Plows, CEO on Nobody’s Child, said, “We are proud of the growth over the last year and particularly our M&S partnership. Nobody’s Child is an independent brand, with a passionate team committed to delivering easy to wear pieces from sustainable fabrics at affordable prices. This remains the driving force behind everything we do. We are delighted this also resonates with the M&S customer and feel Nobody’s Child is perfectly positioned to meet the needs of a wider audience. We are excited to be launching in M&S stores next year.”

Nobody’s Child continues to be sold on M&S.com with drops of newness every month and growth planned for Spring 2022 including launching in selected M&S stores. As a partner brand Nobody’s Child will also be able to better utilise M&S’s extensive customer database and digital loyalty scheme – Sparks.

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