M&S takes a stake in Fashionista Favorite: Renaissance High Saint Chain buys online brand Nobodies Child
Any child is popular in the late 20s and 30s and stands out for its midi dresses (pictured)
Marks & Spencer has bought a 25 per cent stake in trendy women’s apparel brand Nobody’s Child. Nobodies Child is one of more than 30 brands that M&S has partnered with to increase its online offering. Others include Ghost, Fat Face and White Stuff. In January, it bought the expensive fashion brand Jaeger from the administration for around £ 5 million, allowing Jaeger-branded clothes to be sold online.
But its investment in Nobodies Child is the first time it has taken a stake in another clothing retailer and is a deep symbol of its brand partnership strategy. More could follow, said Clive Block, Shore Capital retail analyst. He said: ‘I don’t expect it to wander around buying left, right and center. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other complementary investments. ‘
The investment is part of the 137-year-old High Street Stalwart’s recovery under Chief Executive Steve Rowe and President Archie Norman. Shares have risen more than 80 per cent this year due to an epidemic. But there are also signs that the Kovid outbreak is trying to put years of struggle behind it, eventually turning it into a corner.
M&S sells several clothing lines that confuse customers, and under Rowe’s leadership, it has reduced its offer.
It has seen significant online growth as its guest brands attract new customers and encourage people to shop more often. The 54-year-old Rove’s contract with Nobodies Child comes amid reports that he could quit the company within 18 months.
He joined the M&S Croydon store in 1983 and rose through the ranks to take the top job in April 2016, and chief executives believe he has a five to eight year tenure. In this month’s update, which sent shares back to their highest level since the end of 2019, Rowe said the ‘hard yards’ of his recovery plan were showing results.
The investment bank advised the retailer last week to begin the acquisition of Ocado’s retail business in four years.
It purchased 50 per cent of Ocado’s UK online shopping arm for £ 750 million in 2019, enabling customers to purchase M&S products through the Ocado website.
M&S chief executive Steve Rowe (pictured) comes to terms with Nobodies Child amid reports that he may quit
But Deutsche Bank said it would make sense for M&S to buy the remaining 50 percent of the deal, which could come in 2025 or earlier.
M&S is now said to be attracting interest from private equity.
Nobody’s Child is popular in the late 20s and early 30s and stands out for its midi dresses, which are part of more than a tenth of all orders online. The eco-friendly brand, worn by TV presenters Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton, has been available for over a year through M&S Online, where it is the most visited guest brand.
Under the tie-up, someone’s child can work independently but can be expanded by M&S using investment and infrastructure.
M&S did not say how much it paid for the 25 percent shares. It advertised Nobody’s Child’s environmental credentials and said they would team up on sustainability initiatives under the partnership. The brand’s website states that 88 percent of its clothes are made from ‘responsible fabrics’.
Both brands have hit back against throwaway fashion by giving consumers the opportunity to rent their clothes through online platform HireStreet. Richard Price, managing director of M&S Clothing and Home, said the investment would help retailers become ‘more relevant’.
He said: ‘Nobody’s Child is the first brand launched on M&S.com and incredibly popular with new and existing M&S customers.’
Nobodies Child Chief Executive Jodi Ploss said the brand was “fully positioned” to serve the needs of M&S customers.
One of the biggest improvements M&S has made is working on what it should sell, Black said. He said: ‘In the past there was no consistency in what it represents and who it represents.
“This investment by any child is a further indication that M&S will continue with confidence and clarity, with good core trading and Jaeger showing promise.”