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M&S clothing falls for 10th quarter in a row

Marks & Spencer saw like-for-likes at its clothing arm decline by 2.1% in the 13 weeks to December 28, the 10th consecutive quarter that division has seen a drop.

Total sales during the period also fell, by 1.1%. Food, which rose by 4.1% on a total basis, helped push M&S’ group quarterly figures into positive territory, with the retailer recording a 1.8% increase overall.

During the eight weeks to December 24 like-for-likes within the retailer’s general merchandise arm rose by 0.5%, with total general merchandise sales up 1.5%.

Chief executive Marc Bolland said: “We delivered an improved performance in general merchandise over the important Christmas period, with sales up 1.5% in a highly promotional market. However, an exceptionally unseasonal October, which saw GM sales down strongly, has resulted in a quarterly performance below our expectations.”

He added that the business had seen “early signs of improvement in our womenswear business”, which resulted in a “small market share growth in this area for the first time in three years”.

Coats, dresses and footwear were highlighted as strong performers.



Readers' comments (2)

  • Will be interesting to see the impact on 1st Qtr sales. I predict a worsening for womenswear, as going on sale in December masks these figures.

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  • Think it will be even more interesting to see how they do next Christmas. If you know that they are going to discount so heavily in the run up why would you ever buy full price again.

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