// M&S has made a “strategic investment” in online activewear business The Sports Edit
// This is the latest invesment in fashion brands for M&S, which last year bought Jaeger and took a 25% stake in Nobody’s Child
Marks & Spencer has made a “strategic investment” in activewear platform The Sports Edit in a deal that will eventually give it 100% ownership of the business.
M&S said The Sports Edit was a “complementary ecommerce platform well positioned in the growing activewear market…due to its highly engaged customer base”.
The investment furthers M&S’ push into activewear, which has been one of retail’s highest growth categories since the onset of the pandemic. The market is now worth almost £900m after seeing 35% growth over the last two years, according to Kantar Worlddpanel.
M&S revealed in December that Goodmove, the activewear brand it launched two years ago, is now its biggest in-house womenswear brand.
The acquisition is the latest in a string of investments in fashion brands for M&S, which has started selling third-party brands online and in selected stores.Last year it bought the Jaeger label out of administration and took a minority stake in Nobody’s Child.
The Sports Edit was founded in 2015 by Nick Paulson-Ellis, who will continue to run the business independently as chief executive, while M&S international director Paul Friston will join its board.
M&S said The Sports Edit’s capabilities in brand curation and identifying emerging brands will provide valuable learning opportunities for the business as it further grows its ‘Brands at M&S’ business.
M&S chief operating officer Katie Bickerstaffe said: “Developing the Brands at M&S platform is just one example of how we’re shaping the future of M&S.
“Investing in digital and growing brands is an important way to explore growth categories and ultimately build our offer so we’re relevant for our broad customer base in the future.
“Nick has created a brilliant activewear business and will continue to operate The Sports Edit independently supported by this investment to scale and grow.”
Paulson-Ellis added: “We are extremely excited to be working alongside M&S and I strongly believe that with their support and resources we can accelerate the development of our exciting customer proposition, alongside the launch of our own-brand activewear offering.
“Together we will build a highly differentiated proposition in activewear and do so at scale.”