M&S launches Mr Men, Little Miss kidswear in drive for character clothing growth
Marks & Spencer isn’t just upping it’s game in womenswear. The UK retail giant is also turning its attention to expanding its character-based kidswear offer, announcing the introduction of Mr Men and Little Miss clothing from today (4 February).
It’s part of an ambition to grow character clothing to 20% of its offer and reflects a shift from providing ‘special occasion’ to ‘everyday style’ clothing, a strategy “accelerated by the pandemic”, M&S said. The shift will also mean the removal of its sub-brand Autograph from kidswear, it noted.
The retailer also said kidswear remains a "priority purchase”, with one in three parents set to make a related buy in the next two weeks.
The “cheerful” Mr Men and Little Miss range is available up to age seven across daywear, sleepwear, accessories & bedding. It features a variety of author and illustrator Roger Hargreaves’ “original and much-loved characters as they celebrate their 50th year being read and enjoyed by families around the world”.
The range joins its character-based clothing offer that includes Frozen, Snoopy, Peppa Pig, Roald Dahl and Harry Potter. The latter was launched last year to “phenomenal success”, with M&S noting it sold over 350,000 of the top-seller - Hogwarts PJs – over Christmas and "new products are due to launch soon, building on the success", it added.
M&S said: “With casualwear the key trend of 2020 the shift has been accelerated as customers are keen for a more relaxed and fun range from M&S Kids". Up from 4% in 2019, character-based clothing currently represents 13% of the M&S Kidswear range, "with ambitious plans to grow to 20% by the end of 2021", it added.
Jill Stanton, M&S’s Womenswear & Kidswear director added: “For kidswear, it’s all about retaining our quality, but being even more playful in our product offer – with engaging prints, vibrant colours, and an increased use of fun characters like Mr Men Little Miss”.
The launch is being supported by digital marketing, including a ‘How to Draw’ video series with Adam Hargreaves, and comes ahead of World Book Day.
Last month, M&S announced it was adding a raft of branded women's fashion to its offer this spring, including Joules, Phase Eight, Hobbs, Seasalt and Jaeger.
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