// Marks & Spencer signs new deals with Phase Eight, Joules, Hobbs and Seasalt
// The retailer will sell clothes by the brands from online and in its stores
// The deal comes after M&S bought Jaeger out of administration for £5m last week
Marks & Spencer has reportedly struck deals with Phase Eight, Joules, Hobbs and Seasalt, which means it will sell clothes by the brands from online and in its stores.
The retailer said it has chosen those retailers as they overlap with its own brands and will help drive shoppers to its website by the spring season, The Times reported.
The deal comes after M&S bought Jaeger out of administration for £5 million last week. It marked the first fashion acquisition since the group bought Per Una in 2004.
M&S said it is not taking on any of Jaeger’s 63 stores as part of the rescue, resulting in 233 job losses.
Jaeger was part of Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, and fell into administration in November.
M&S has also signed deals with Nobody’s Child and Early Learning Centre in recent months, as part of its Never the Same Again programme.
Chief executive Steve Rowe said earlier this month that although the retailer had “no intention” of becoming a department store model, it was interested in “finding and partnering with adjacent brands.”
Earlier this month it saw its clothing and home revenue drop 25.1 per cent to £787 million in the 13 weeks to December 26, driven by an in-store sales plunge of 46.5 per cent as Covid-19 restrictions, such as the second national lockdowns in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, continued to affect trading.
On a like-for-like basis, clothing and home sales dropped 24.1 per cent.
M&S’s food division did marginally better as it was allowed to remain open during lockdown restrictions, recording growth of 2.2 per cent to £1.74 billion during the third quarter, and an increase of 2.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis.
Overall, M&S’s third quarter group sales was down 8.4 per cent to £2.76 billion, and in its UK market alone overall sales was down 8.2 per cent to £2.52 billion while like-for-like sales dropped by 7.6 per cent.