Marks & Spencer is feeling broody. Following the launch of its first-ever baby food range in April, the British department store has launched a standalone brand with its own shop-in-shop format called M&S Baby.
The retailer is hoping that by investing in the baby brand, it can establish itself as a trusted resource for parents, and nab a larger share of the estimated $2.1 billion U.K. baby product market.
M&S Baby offers an edited selection of eight baby brands geared for children 24 months and under, and a newly launched line of Fall ’14 maternity apparel. Other product categories under the label include bath, feeding, sleep, newborn and play. Designated staff have undergone product training to help shoppers and new parents find the best item for their needs.
Stephanie Chen, M&S director of kidswear and home, told Retail Week, “As a new parent or grandparent you want to feel confident you’re making the right purchases—but the volume of choice can feel overwhelming. Customers have told us they want to turn to a trusted retailer to help them navigate the options.” She added, “Under M&S Baby we’ve put together a range that reflects the exceptional quality and safety standards our customers expect—complemented by a careful edit of the leading specialist baby brands in the market.”
Marks & Spencer will test the room-inspired layouts in nine stores. It has also launched a dedicated M&S Baby section to its website, and the line will be made available through catalogs.