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Industry leaders urge M&S to broaden customer base

Marks & Spencer’s long-awaited move to add third-party clothing and home brands to its online and in store offer has been praised by industry insiders who also urged the retailer to capitalise on the chance to broaden its customer base.

M&S has long been fending off criticism that it should add third-party brands to its fashion offering. With the continued success of Next’s online marketplace launched in 2014, the high street stalwart has been behind the curve in enticing a younger shopper to its virtual and physical doors.

However, the recently the brand announced that that it plans to enlist the power of complementary fashion and home labels to “turbo-charge” M&S’s ecommerce channel and freshen up the retail offering in selected larger stores.

The retailer is already in commercial negotiations with a number of brands which will be introduced over the coming weeks and months. These will be across categories where M&S dominates, possibly lingerie or denim, and also sectors where it is lacking expertise or a stronghold in the market.