The move to add adidas and Sweaty Betty to The Sports Edit online platform aligns with M&S’s ongoing commitment to enhancing its sportswear category as part of its ‘Brands at M&S’ strategy.

The retailer explains brand partners benefit from access to its extensive customer base, substantial customer data, engagement opportunities, and omnichannel purchase and return options.

M&S director of third-party brands Nishi Mahajan says the company is continuing to grow market share and build credibility in sportswear.

The addition of Adidas and Sweaty Betty brings the total number of third-party sportswear brands available on M& to 18, including established names like Hoka, Girlfriend Collective, and ASICS, as well as M&S’s own activewear brand, Goodmove, which it says sells over 1.6 million items annually.

M&S initiated its venture into the sportswear market with a strategic investment in The Sports Edit platform in 2022. This investment led to the launch of its sportswear platform on M& earlier this year. The retailer says it offers customers not only a curated product selection but also wellness content and expert advice.

The Sports Edit is described as a key component of M&S’s broader ‘Brands at M&S’ strategy. The online platform has expanded to feature over 50 third-party brands, with sales more than doubling to over £70m ($85.26m), constituting 4.1% of total clothing and home sales.

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The newly expanded selection will encompass a wide array of sportswear products, featuring performance footwear such as Adidas’ popular Adizero and Ultraboost running shoes.

Sweaty Betty will contribute with its athleisure and fitness apparel, including the zero gravity collection and its award-winning power leggings.

As part of its growth strategy, M&S is capitalising on the success of its in-house activewear brand, Goodmove, which it said has garnered significant interest from women’s wear shoppers.

M&S reported that during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in August, searches for sportswear on M& surged by +39%, with searches related to ‘football’ tripling. M&S said it is actively responding to the heightened demand by expanding its online sports offerings.

According to the retailer the sportswear market, valued at over £4bn, is projected to experience a 6% growth between 2023 and 2028.

Nick Paulson-Ellis, founder and CEO of The Sports Edit, emphasises the careful curation of sportswear partners on M&, stating: “Our carefully curated edit of sportswear partners now includes the very best product from Adidas – one of the largest sportswear brands in the world – as well as Sweaty Betty, a British heritage brand we know our customers love.”

Customers can explore Adidas and Sweaty Betty’s offerings on M& from early October, with additional outerwear brands, including Columbia, Regatta, and Sorel also joining the platform this season.

Online retailer N Brown Group recenty revealed it had several new third-party brands joining its growing fashion portfolio to provide its customers with a wider choice.