M&S to open Early Learning Centre outlets in selected stores
Marks & Spencer is to introduce Early Learning Centre toy shop concessions in a number of stores as part of plans to grow its appeal to families.
The outlets will launch in 10 stores at the end of March in shops in places like Bluewater, Birmingham and Liverpool.
The move is part of the retailer’s ‘Brands at M&S’ strategy which offers customers access to a carefully selected group of external brands. Predominately online, the brand curation is a mix of complementary products and areas where M&S does not have an extensive own brand range.
The store trial follows the launch of Early Learning Centre on M&S.com at the end of 2020. M&S said the average online basket size for brands is more than twice the average for M&S.com and to date over 65% of orders for an Early Learning product include M&S clothing.
Neil Harrison, director of brands at M&S, explained: “The customer response to Early Learning Centre on M&S.com over the past year has been incredibly positive. We know a large proportion of our customers look to purchase kidswear and toys for family and friends. So, by bringing the Early Learning Centre brand – with fun and interactive experiences – to our stores, we’re able to give our 22 million customers more reasons to shop with us. As Brands at M&S continues to gain momentum, this is just one example of how we are shaping the future of M&S, helping us become more relevant, more often to families.”
The full range of stores stocking Early Learning Centre products will include Bluewater, Stratford, Banbury Gateway, Cheshire Oaks, Lisburn, Thurrock, Metro Centre, Liverpool, Longbridge and Plymouth.
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