Marks & Spencer has announced this week that it will welcome Mamas & Papas, one of the UK’s leading and longest established high street nursery brands to M&S, as ‘Brands at M&S’ continues to grow at pace.
Three selected M&S destination stores in the South East, Midlands and North East will be home to Mamas & Papas ‘shop-in-shops’ featuring over 700 Mamas & Papas products
The store openings follow the success of third-party brand partnerships with Early Learning Centre, Clarks and Smiggle.
Pushchairs, car seats and nursery furniture
1 in 4 customers currently shop kidswear at M&S and the retailer is the market leader for school uniform during Back-to-School. As part of this new partnership, M&S customers will now be able shop over 700 of Mamas & Papas’ bestselling products, including pushchairs, car seats and nursery furniture; complementing its existing family offer.
With 65% of sales of nursery items completed in store**, the partnership will welcome Mamas & Papas’ ‘shop-in-shops’ format, enabling M&S customers to touch and feel the products before purchase. Launching as a store trial in three regions across the UK, the ‘shop-in-shops’ come complete with their own till points along with dedicated Mamas & Papas expert colleagues who will provide tailored, independent advice and recommendations to parents-to-be and their families. The team will also be offering in-store services such as one-to-one personal shopping appointments and car seat consultations and fittings.
The baby and childrenswear market is now worth £6 billion and is expected to continue to grow by 4.1% in the next five years**. The trusted-quality products that M&S is known for, is complemented and enhanced by a carefully curated selection of third-party brands. The partnership with Mamas & Papas follows the success of Early Learning Centre, FAO Schwarz, Clarks, Hype and Smiggle which have joined the M&S Family through ‘Brands at M&S’.
Richard Price, Managing Director of Clothing & Home at M&S said:
“We’re delighted to be welcoming Mamas & Papas – a much loved brand with over 40 years’ of experience. At M&S, we’re the number one choice for families when children start school and this new partnership fills a gap in our product offering to ensure we cater for families throughout parenthood. It was Mamas & Papas expertise and shared value for quality that made this partnership a no brainer to complement our baby and kidswear offering. We can’t wait to see our customers faces when they visit one of the bespoke Mamas & Papas ‘shop-in-shops’ where they will find everything they would expect from the brand’s standalone stores, with the added value of shopping at M&S.”
Mark Saunders, Chief Executive Officer at Mamas & Papas, said:
“We are proud to be joining the Marks & Spencer family as a new ‘Brand at M&S.’ With their focus on supporting customers throughout life’s firsts, the synergy with Mamas & Papas, as we support families through the important milestones along the parenting journey felt like a perfect match. As a leader in sustainability and commitment to the planet through M&S’s Plan A initiative, we appreciate the shared interest in implementing positive changes to protect the environment for future generations and demonstrating responsibility for the world around us – something close to our hearts at Mamas & Papas.
“With our goal to be the most accessible nursery brand on the high street, we’ll continue our commitment to investing in bricks & mortar, by expanding our successful concession business and in doing so, make the positive step in supporting M&S on their journey into the nursery category. We look forward to the beginning of a very exciting partnership.”
Brands at M&S continues to grow at pace, over the last 12 months, 1.2 million customers have shopped third-party brands in selected stores and online. This is just one example of how M&S is repositioning for growth to become more relevant, more often – offering M&S’ 22m customers more reasons to shop.
* Source: McKinsey
**Mamas & Papas will open in M&S Bluewater and Cheshire Oaks in October and Longbridge in November.
About Mamas & Papas
Mamas & Papas is one of the UK’s leading and longest established specialist high street nursery brands, with over 40 years’ experience. Its range of British-designed, award-winning products includes nursery furniture and interiors, pushchairs, clothing, equipment and toys. As a multi-channel retailer, the Huddersfield based company has over 48 stores and concessions across the UK and Ireland, supplies over 100 trusted stockists and operates a fast-growing online business. The company also sells in over 30 countries worldwide through a network of franchisee and distributor partnerships.