Marks and Spencer offers guest labels online including Phase Eight

Marks and Spencer joins the newest retail trend by offering a host of guest High Street labels online including Phase Eight, Joules and Hobbs

  • The newest retail trend is super-brand beginning to stock other smaller labels 
  • Online, Next sells other brands including Lipsy, Joules, The North Face and F&F
  • And Marks and Spencer is now offering guest high street labels on its website
  • Phase Eight, Joules, Seasalt Cornwall and Hobbs are a few that will be on offer

The newest trend in retail is superbrands stocking other, smaller labels. Next, for example, sells Lipsy, Joules, The North Face and F&F online.

And now Marks & Spencer is doing the same, launching Brands at M&S this month. 

Having snapped up Jaeger from its administrators, it will go further by offering a host of guest labels online, such as Phase Eight, Joules, Seasalt Cornwall and Hobbs. 

A spokesperson says the aim is to ‘turbocharge’ the website, adding: ‘We recognise that we have to give customers more reason to shop at marks We know no one just wears M&S.’

Marks and Spencer is offering guest labels on its website (above: top £39.95 and trousers, £62.50, Seasalt Cornwall; shoes, £45; scarf, £12.50; and necklace, £15, M&S)

Phase Eight, Hobbs (left: dress), White Stuff (left: trainers) and Sosandar (clothes right), are among the top high street labels that will be on offer on Marks and Spencer’s website

So how does the move help the other brands? ‘Access to the UK’s second biggest clothing website.’ 

It’s symbiosis. M&S Woman might discover a label she hasn’t heard of, such as Nobody’s Child or Y.A.S, or revisit labels M&S previously bought into, such as Ghost. 

Do shoppers love it? ‘Several Ghost dresses have sold out,’ I’m told. 

M&S will cherry-pick with M&S Woman in mind. It chose Hobbs as it’s a great British brand and is transparent about the provenance of its goods: important for the M&S shopper.

It’s fantastic that M&S now sells Hobbs shoes, as its own footwear has always been dire. Best news of all?

It will soon stock upmarket lingerie brand Sloggi. I gave a loud hoorah a couple of years ago when M&S culled two sub-brands, Indigo and Classic or, as I called them, Old Lady Tat. 

A Marks and Spencer spokesperson said the aim of the move is to ‘turbocharge’ the company’s website (above: skirt, £99, Hobbs; knit, £89, boots, £55, and earrings, £7.50)

The move will see M&S will cherry-pick brands with their customers in mind, choosing brands that are important to their shoppers, such as Joules (left: jumper and trousers) and Phase Eight (right: jumpsuit)

The company join the newest retail trend, which sees super-brands beginning to stock other smaller labels, such as Hobbs (above: Dress, £55, White Stuff, jacket, £99, Hobbs)

In 2012, I begged then style director Belinda Earl to have just one label, St Michael, and ditch the sub-brands of Per Una, Limited and Autograph. 

When I go shopping, I don’t then want to negotiate a maze of brands. She didn’t listen.

But the looks here are perfect for post-lockdown: colourful, crisp, casual. The Hobbs blue floral dress screams ‘Thank God it’s over!’ And there’s nothing mumsy, over-embellished or boxy. I love the faux leather dress from Sosandar.

I’m less keen on Joules — it’s a bit twee. 

And I wonder why Seasalt Cornwall has been selected; it was great when all it offered was waterproofs for bracing walks. 

But fear not, more names will be added come April.

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