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February 25, 2022

EXCLUSIVE: Unbound says former M&S exec to help drive own-brand apparel strategy

Unbound Group CEO Ian Watson tells Just Style exclusively he will work with new chief product officer and former M&S executive Sarah Davies to develop the company's differentiated apparel strategy.

By Beth Wright

Online multi-brand retail platform Unbound Group named former M&S and Arcadia executive Davies as chief product officer earlier this week.

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Speaking exclusively to Just Style, Watson says he will work with Davies to formulate the company’s apparel strategy.

“Phase one of our entry into the apparel market will be through Unbound Group’s curated partner programme. We are currently in advanced discussions with a number of third-party brands, and will launch in summer 2022.”

At launch, Watson notes Unbound will offer a range of apparel and an extended partner footwear offering, specifically targeted at the active lifestyles of its customers.

“Following the successful execution of our third-party brand strategy, we plan to explore an own-brand apparel range. Sarah’s extensive background covers both footwear and clothing, and Sarah has a specialist understanding of our demographic through her experience at M&S and Debenhams. Sarah will collaborate with me to formulate and develop Unbound Group’s own brand, differentiated apparel strategy,” he adds.

Davies has previously held executive buying roles at Marks & Spencer and Arcadia, where she was buying director for Dorothy Perkins, and held roles at Jones Bootmaker, Debenhams, and Tesco where she launched and delivered its in-house footwear within the F&F clothing department.

Her appointment comes after Unbound Group was listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market on 1 February and its Hotter Shoes brand was recently named the latest third-party brand to partner with M&S.

The partnership with M&S saw Hotter launch on M&S.com on 17 February with an initial offering of 32 products that will increase to 75 available directly via M&S.com. 

The specially curated Hotter range for M&S.com is centred around comfort and active footwear and includes the comfort brand’s Gore-Tex range.

Brands at M&S initially launched for M&S’s 22m clothing and home customers last spring as part of the retailer’s plan under its MS2 division to curate a platform of brands that are relevant for its consumers and encourages them to shop more frequently online.

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Free Report
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How can brands navigate the post-COVID-19 Apparel market?

In 2021, the Global Apparel market remained at 3% below pre-pandemic levels, with Europe and LATAM lagging behind. If they want to see full recovery, brands must look ahead. GlobalData is therefore offering this free report, Future of the Apparel Market Post Pandemic, to assist companies in adapting to the future market. This report explores the following topics:
  • Latest forecasts for the online apparel market out to 2025
  • How different regions and categories will perform, including which regions are lagging behind and which are performing at pre-pandemic levels
  • Which categories within the Apparel market are displaying resilience
  • Which brands are driving online spending
  • Impact of inflation on the Global Apparel market
  • What the biggest trends are that apparel businesses must adopt to succeed
Read our report on the Future of the Apparel Market Post Pandemic to gain valuable insights on how to best position your brand in a post-COVID-19 world.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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