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M&S loses clothing share to Asda, Tesco and Primark

Marks & Spencer lost total clothing volume and value market share over the last year, while George at Asda, Tesco and Primark all gained ground.

According to figures from retail research firm TNS, M&S’s total clothing and footwear share for the 52 weeks to December 6 fell 40 basis points by value and 60 basis points in volume. Its volume share stood at 11% over the period.

By contrast, Asda, Tesco and Primark all gained share in both value and volume, although detailed figures weren’t available as Drapers went to press.

However, M&S said its 2008 figures were bolstered by the 20%-off mega days it held on November 20 and December 4 that year.

But the 2009 figure for value, when compared with 2007 - when the retailer did not hold any special promotion days - shows M&S has advanced 30 basis points.

In addition, its share appears to have been on an upward trajectory for most of this year, advancing 30 basis points to 10.3% over the 12 weeks to May 24, growing 10 basis points to 9.7% over the 12 weeks to August 16 and gaining a further 20 basis points over the 12 weeks to November 8. Over the Christmas period the retailer said it experienced strong sales of its footwear, lingerie and kidswear.

One source said M&S needed to “up its game” on its core menswear and womenswear ranges, where it continued to lose ground and, while it remains market share leader, George and Primark are snapping at its heels for the volume crown.

Last August, both George and Primark temporarily leapfrogged M&S in volume terms. However, George’s growth was said to have been largely driven by its cheap school uniform sales.

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