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.