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Marks & Spencer ramps up fast fashion after successful spring 11 experiment

Marks & Spencer has introduced a fast-fashion element to its core clothing range – the first time the retailer has experimented with six-week lead times on its more mainstream product.

For spring 11, M&S tested the quick-response model on its mainline, introducing a bright colour story, which took just six weeks to get from sketch to shopfloor.

It sold 35,000 items in the Fashion Brights range in its first five weeks in stores, with the multicolour top (pictured) at £19.50 proving to be the best-seller.

Previously the retailer adopted six to eight-week lead times solely in its more trend-led Limited Collection sub-brand. It said it had exploited its existing supply chain in Turkey, where it sources product for Limited Collection, rather than using new factories.

Separately, M&S said sales of general merchandise, which includes clothing, were up 0.3% over the 13 weeks to July 2.

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