Marks & Spencer is stepping up its presence in the activewear segment with an investment in brand platform ‘The Sports Edit’.
The Sports Edit was founded in 2015 and carries a mix of premium sportswear, athleisure wear and yoga products from established and emerging boutique brands.
Marks & Spencer said it identified The Sports Edit as “a complementary ecommerce platform well positioned in the growing activewear market”, partly due to its “highly engaged customer base”.
Following the investment, The Sports Edit founder and CEO Nick Paulson-Ellis will continue to run the company, helped by Marks & Spencer’s investment and access to infrastructure and capabilities.
Paulson-Ellis said in a release: “We are extremely excited to be working alongside Marks & Spencer 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.”
Booming sportswear segment
This is the latest move by Marks & Spencer to expand into the burgeoning activewear segment, which grew 35 percent in the past two years to be worth almost 900 million pounds, according to consulting company Kantar Worldpanel.
Marks & Spencer launched its own activewear brand Goodmove back in January 2020 as the pandemic caused a boom in consumer demand for health and wellbeing products.
In December 2021, Marks & Spencer revealed it was stepping up its focus on activewear with a new dedicated campaign for Goodmove as well as an expanded product range for Spring.
Goodmove has become Marks & Spencer’s biggest in-house womenswear brand in just two years.
Katie Bickerstaffe, chief operating officer at Marks & Spencer, said: “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.”