M&S eyes stronger presence in sports clothing with new activewear range

Digital-led campaign promotes Goodmove collection.

M&S: using real women to test new items
M&S: using real women to test new items

Marks & Spencer has launched its biggest push so far into the sportswear market with a campaign for its new 150-item activewear range called Goodmove.

The brand, which has been struggling to grow its clothing sales, is targeting busy family-age female customers in the work.

The campaign plays on the word "good" to drive consumer awareness of the new Goodmove brand, with themes including "good balance", "good morning", "good friends" and "good times", along with the tagline: "Goodmove – for however you move."

It will run throughout January and comprises in-store and outdoor activity, as well as digital executions across Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.

M&S has also recruited real women from around the UK to test the products and created an upbeat "Goodmove" Spotify playlist as part of the marketing activity.

Campaign assets were created in-house by M&S, with creative concept support from Odd, which works on the retailer’s clothing and home advertising.

M&S is currently the market leader for sports bras and the second-largest retailer for activewear, it said. The Goodmove launch will see its sportswear range increase by 75%, with prices starting from £15 for leggings.

Over the past three years, M&S said, the "athleisure" market has "significantly" outperformed the overall clothing sector, with online the fastest-growing channel for this female-led category.

"As a marketing team, our starting point was, for whoever you are, we want to help you get up and go and move the way you want, and that’s driven a campaign that feels confident, fun and inclusive," Nathan Ansell, M&S’s marketing director for clothing, said.

"We want to help the nation get moving in 2020, with products designed for however customers chose to move – from a walk with the kids to a high-intensity class at the gym."

Jill Stanton, M&S womenswear director, added: "Activewear has become a staple in today’s wardrobe – not simply because we work out more, but because the nation is embracing a more casual and flexible way of dressing.

"As the UK’s biggest clothing retailer and the market leader for sports bras, launching Goodmove is an opportunity for us to drive growth through a really relevant product offering."