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Today (Tuesday 8th March/Wednesday 9th March) M&S is announcing a new strategic investment in the fast-growing brand platform ‘The Sports Edit’

Founded in 2015 by entrepreneur Nick Paulson-Ellis, he has grown the business by concentrating on bespoke brand curation across activewear. ‘The Sport Edit’ offers an extensive range of carefully selected popular customer-favourites, alongside emerging boutique brands. 

Fulfilling customer demand, ‘The Sports Edit’ constantly adds new and innovative brands to the site focusing on premium sportswear, athleisure wear and yoga clothes. Nick will continue to run the company independently as CEO and will be supported to grow by M&S’s investment and access to infrastructure and capabilities. 

Investing in ‘The Sports Edit’ is a continuation of M&S’s strategic focus on activewear, a market which is now worth almost £900m after seeing 35% growth over the last two years (Kantar Worldpanel*) - as part of this M&S has grown Goodmove (its activewear brand) in two years to be the biggest in-house womenswear brand at M&S, with a loyal customer following.

M&S has identified ‘The Sports Edit’ as a complementary ecommerce platform well positioned in the growing activewear market, in part due to its highly engaged customer base. 

Products are carefully selected with style, strength and performance at the core of collections. ‘The Sports Edit’ has a proven capability in brand curation and emerging brand identification, both of which will provide valuable learning opportunities for M&S as it further grows the ‘Brands at M&S’ platform. 

As part of its brands strategy, M&S is utilising a range of models including wholesale agreements, exclusive collaborations and investments (including the minority stake in Nobody’s Child) and seed funding for small brands via the True Fund. The Brands strategy also includes selected acquisitions such as Jaeger and now The Sports Edit**. 

Katie Bickerstaffe, COO at M&S, 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.”

Nick Paulson-Ellis, CEO and Founder at The Sports Edit, said, “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.”  

Ends

* Kantar | Worldpanel Division | Total Activewear Market (Mens & Womenswear Sport Tops, Sports Shorts, Jogging Bottoms, Track/jogging Suits, Replica Kits, Swimwear, Other Sportswear) | Spend (£000s) | YoY % Change vs 2 years Ago | 52 w/e data to 14th November 2021 vs 17th November 2019

** The terms of the deal mean M&S will eventually own 100% of the brand