M&S opens Early Learning Centre ‘shop in shops’

Marks & Spencer has announced that it will open Early Learning Centre ‘shop in shops’ in ten locations across the UK.

The new shops, which will open at the end of the month, will be located in a number of towns and cities, including Kent, Longbridge, and Liverpool.

The new dedicated areas will stock Early Learning Centre's best-selling toys. They will also include interactive play tables, Happyland products, and free activity sheets for children.

The multinational retailer said that the new partnership is part of its ‘Brands at M&S’ strategy, which gives customers access to “carefully selected” brands which are available on the M&S platform.

The brand curation, predominately online, is a mix of complementary products and areas M&S doesn’t have an extensive own brand range – such as toys.

The store trial follows the launch of Early Learning Centre on M&S.com at the end of 2020.

M&S said that the average online basket size for brands is more than twice the average for M&S.com and to date over 65 per cent of orders for an Early Learning product include M&S Clothing.

“The customer response to Early Learning Centre on M&S.com over the past year has been incredibly positive,” said Neil Harrison, director of brands, M&S. “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 22m 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.”

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