Marks and Spencer launches new kidswear collaboration

Retailer Marks and Spencer has launched a new kidswear collaboration with children’s author Roald Dahl and the Natural History Museum, as part of its ongoing plans to “broaden its appeal to busy family customers”.

The 30-piece daywear and nightwear kidswear spring/summer 2020 collection, which went on sale this week, incorporates some of the best-loved animal characters from Roald Dahl’s stories, as well as fascinating facts inspired by the Natural History Museum’s collection.

Marks and Spencer launches new kidswear collaboration

As well as being available in Marks and Spencer stores and online, the collection will also be available to purchase from the Natural History Museum Gift Shop, which attracts some 5 million visitors a year, and marks the first time that the retailer has been stocked in the museum.

Alice Duggan, head of kidswear buying at Mark and Spencer, said in a statement: “M&S Kids is changing to broaden its appeal to more family shoppers. New products that kids and parents will love is an important part of this which is why we’re so excited to be launching this collaboration with Roald Dahl and the Natural History Museum.”

Marks and Spencer launches new kidswear collaboration

Marks and Spencer continues to target kidswear with new “family-friendly” collaboration

The range follows Mark and Spencer’s recent successful collaboration with Frozen II, where pyjamas were particularly popular, with all 300,000 Frozen items sold over the Christmas period, including 22,000 of the Frozen PJ 2 pack. The collaboration marked the retailer’s most successful character range ever.

This latest kidswear launch is part of the retailers change in direction for its offering shifting focus from “special occasion to everyday style,” as part of a broader approach to be more family-friendly and rooted in market shifts across all clothing areas and customer insight, where research revealed that children are telling Mark and Spencer that ‘being comfy’ is their number one clothing requirement.

As part of the changes, the retailer removed its sub-brand Autograph from kidswear, as it focused more on formal styles of clothing, and instead the focus is on casualwear options with core products such as tees, sweatshirts and leggings. In addition, these key casualwear items are now available for customers year-round in a simple 3-for-2 deal, as the retailer looks to offer more value as it looks to grow its market share in kidswear.

Marks and Spencer launches new kidswear collaboration

Marks and Spencer kidswear to shift focus from formal to everyday style

The popularity of the 3-for-2 deal continues to grow and Mark and Spencer has now increased items in the offer from 60 to nearly 200, with products starting from 2.50 pounds for cotton leggings with stretch, which the retailer adds has been well received by customers as kids’ daywear sales were up 2.5 percent in the last quarter and sales for items in the bundle tripling.

Commenting on the change in direction, Jill Stanton, director of kidswear at Mark and Spencer, explained: “M&S Kids is changing to broaden its appeal to more family shoppers. We know we have parents shopping schoolwear, with 1 in 4 kids wearing an M&S uniform, but our wider Kids offer has been a bit too formal and not for everyday fun.

Marks and Spencer launches new kidswear collaboration

“Our new range is about being more playful - with fantastic fun prints, vibrant colours and the hard-wearing features that make them fit for playtime and fit to last. Customers have been noticing the unbeatable value of the 3-for-2 – but more importantly that it’s still the same M&S quality they know and love.”

Images: courtesy of Marks and Spencer


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