M&S KIDSWEAR TEAMS UP WITH DISNEY'S 'FROZEN 2' AND 'TOGETHER FOR SHORT LIVES
Marks & Spencer, the UK’s biggest Clothing & Home retailer, recently announced a new festive collaboration to celebrate the return of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven in one of the most highly-anticipated films in cinema history – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen 2 – opening in UK cinemas from November 22nd. The original Frozen from Walt Disney Animation Studios, released in November 2013, won two Academy Awards®. Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee return at the helm of Frozen 2. M&S will offer customers the opportunity to fall back in love with the characters with the very best of Frozen 2 merchandise in special Frozen 2 shops, which launch in the kidswear sections of all M&S stores across the UK and online this Friday. The shops will be supported by a range of marketing, including window displays, social media content and mobile marketing – critical as more searches of kidswear come on mobile than any other area of M&S Clothing (over 60% of searches). The shops will offer 72 Frozen 2 products, all of which are exclusive to M&S, including fancy dress costumes, pyjamas, advent calendars and soft toys. From November, 54 of the biggest shops will also include selfie stations for the young (and young at heart) who want a special festive picture with Elsa or Anna this Christmas. As part of the collaboration, M&S will be joining Disney in supporting the inspirational UK charity Together for Short Lives. Together for Short Lives’ work is all about making sure the 49,000 seriously ill children and their families across the UK can make the most of every moment they have together, whether that’s for years, months or only hours. One of the ways the charity does this is by raising funds for all 54 children’s hospices across the UK through corporate partnerships, so they can continue to support families facing the unimaginable. This Christmas, M&S will show its support for their amazing work by selling an exclusive tote bag that will be released in October. M&S Food will also be sponsoring a special Together for Short Lives & Frozen 2 ball and the team will be working with Disney on a couple of special events to bring families caring for seriously ill children together and create lasting memories this Christmas. Nathan Ansell, Director of Clothing & Home Marketing at M&S said, “Growing M&S kidswear is an important focus at M&S as we work to appeal to family-aged customers. Frozen 2 is a highly anticipated film and when the trailer landed it was record-breaking so we know lots of our customers will be excited to visit our special Frozen 2 shops and check out our exclusive product. It’s also important to us, especially at Christmas time, that we support causes our customers and colleagues care about so we’re incredibly proud to also be working with Together for Short Lives.” Sara Hanson, Director of Charitable Programmes at Disney EMEA said, “By teaming up with M&S and our long-term charity partner Together for Short Lives, we can bring the power of the Frozen 2 story and its characters to inspire and create Moments that Matter for children and those closest to them when they need it the most. Whether that’s through raising awareness or funds, this campaign can help build emotional resilience and make a real difference to families’ lives.” Andy Fletcher, CEO for Together for Short Lives said, “At its heart, Frozen 2 is a film all about family being together so as a charity who helps families be together, we’re excited to be teaming up with the film and one of Britain’s best loved family retailers. The collaboration will help us support seriously ill children and families to get the care they need and spread a little joy this Christmas with funds raised helping to support the 54 children’s hospices we work with across the UK.” M&S and Disney are joining forces as M&S is focused on transforming its Clothing & Home business to be more relevant for Britain’s busy families – this includes an overhaul of how the retailer plans, buys, moves and sells products. M&S and Disney share an audience of 9 million fans with half of M&S’s Clothing & Home customers describing themselves as “Disney fans.” The collaboration runs through to Christmas.