Jan 11, 2021
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M&S confirms Jaeger buy, but isn't taking on stores

Jan 11, 2021

M&S has confirmed that it has bought the Jaeger brand, which had been part of Philip Day’s fashion retail empire. But while the firm is taking over the brand, it’s not buying the label’s store chain and its concessions.

Photo: Sandra Halliday - DR

The deal is currently being finalised but no purchase price has been released.

M&S had announced back in May that it planned to stock more third-party brands that were complementary to its own-label offer and Jaeger was seen as a good fit for the business. It had already taken a relatively small step into stocking other brands following deals with Nobody's Child and Ghost London, but the Jaeger purchase is its biggest move yet.

Steve Rowe, the CEO of M&S, had said in a call with journalists last week that those additional brands were key to boosting the firm’s online business, but that the company had no intention of turning itself into a traditional department store.

And on Monday, the retailer’s MD of Clothing & Home, Richard Price, said of its latest move: “We have set out our plans to sell complementary third-party brands as part of our Never the Same Again programme to accelerate our transformation and turbocharge online growth. In line with this, we have bought the Jaeger brand and are in the final stages of agreeing the purchase of product and supporting marketing assets from the administrators of Jaeger Retail Limited. We expect to fully complete later this month.”

It’s unclear how many Jaeger jobs will go given the fact that M&S — which has its own giant physical stores estate — hasn’t bought the 63 Jaeger stores. Following earlier redundancies after the company appointed administrators last year, it was left with 244 staff.

It’s interesting that Jaeger was born in the same year as M&S, 1884. Both became stalwarts of the UK high street with a focus on classic fashion. But while M&S remains one of the biggest names in UK retail, despite the challenges it has faced in the past two decades, Jaeger has been in decline this century. During that time it has gone from being a runway brand that showed at London Fashion Week with a flagship on Regent Street to a label fighting for its life in the biggest crisis to face fashion retail for decades.

Despite the loss of its stores, it will now be part of one of the biggest fashion retail names in the UK.

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