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M&S clothing sales to drop 5.5%

City analysts are predicting like-for-like clothing sales at Marks & Spencer could drop by up to 5.5% for the third quarter.

The retailer, which will report its Christmas figures later this week, is under increasing pressure to turn around its struggling fashion offer.

Japanese bank Nomura is forecasting a 5.5% fall in third-quarter general merchandise sales at M&S while US bank Jefferies is predicting a drop of 3%.

M&S’s high street rival Next, on the other hand, is expected to emerge as one of the few winners over Christmas with analysts predicting a rise of about 3% in own-brand sales for the quarter.

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