Marks & Spencer slows rate of decline in clothing sales

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer has slowed the rate of decline in its clothing sales reporting a -0.5% drop year-on-year (-1.2% on a like for like basis) in its first quarter figures released today.

The Clothing & Home division achieved sales of £852.1m in the 13-week period ending 1 July. In the prior quarter it had reported a -5.9% drop in like-for-likes, so the latest numbers make for a marked improvement. Chief executive Steve Rowe said the business had clamped down on promotions and had improved full-price sales as part of its turnaround plan.

“In line with our strategy, full price sales were up c.7%, as we reduced the number of promotions and there was no clearance sale in the quarter compared with one last year. We start our summer sale today [11 July], a week later than last year, with terminal stock for the season significantly down,” he said.

Overall Marks & Spencer achieved group revenue of just over £2.5bn (up 2.6% year-on-year) with Food sales up 4.5% year-on-year (-0.5% like-for-like) at £1.4bn and international sales up 3.8% at £272.3m.