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M&S fashion sales are a ‘step in the right direction’ says Bolland

Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland has said an increase in fashion sales at the retailer is a ‘step in the right direction’ but there is ‘more to do’.

Bolland remained cautious about the future outlook of the market despite general merchandise sales moving into positive figures for the first time in 15 quarters.

“I have always said it is a step-by-step journey. We’re in positive general merchandise territory and in a market where there was more promotional activity than last year. It’s another step in the right direction.”

He added: “I enjoy the role and I’m still enjoying it. There’s more to do to improve the business. I was there when things weren’t great and I’ll still be there now things are picking up.”

All fashion departments – womenswear, menswear and kidswear – were in positive growth for the quarter.

General merchandise sales increased 1.3% and fashion sales were up by 1.2% for the 13 weeks to March 28.

Like-for-like fashion sales were up 0.7% for the quarter, while like-for-like general merchandise sales were up 0.7% during the period.  

Bolland said he feels “very confident” about the “improved style and quality” of the retailer’s fashion offer and both the Autograph and Limited Edition brands in womenswear experienced high single-digit like-for-like growth during the quarter.

@jillgeoghegan

Readers' comments (3)

  • Unless M&S pay attention to new tech developments that are available to them, I fear they will struggle. The competition is only going to get more fierce... and rapid.

    I see a future where these results will be what they aspire to achieve. It's such a shame that an iconic brand is so slow to react.

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  • M&S needs an complete overhaul. Its needs go more premium, ditch the saturated displays and make it a retailer that we all want to go to, instead of - and I'll put this as bluntly as I can - directionless old codgers.

    It could be so good, but it will never happen until they get the right person in. They won't make it in the longer term unless they change - and that needs to happen very soon if they are to stand a chance.

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  • To be fair to M+S todays shopper doesn't want to dress in an item that is sold all over the country and made in huge volume (that's what M+S does). I can't work out why their food offer is the exact opposite (in terms of quality and aspiration) to the clothing.

    I popped in for a white basic bra recently that I needed that night and I bought it (as an add on to the Saturday luxury once a week food shop I did) and it's soooo annoying. You have buy 2 of the things and one in a different colour. Come on, 2 for £16...but I only wanted X 1...in white only. Why do they do that? Same with the panties...3 for £10...but I only could find 2 I liked in a size 8 (which is another problem as everything is huge in M+S.

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