Marks and Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe highlighted signs of progress in its under-pressure clothing division today, reporting a significantly smaller drop in sales in its first quarter.
The Clothing & Home department, which includes lingerie, witnessed a 0.5% decline in sales in the three months to 1 July. This compares with a 5.9% fall posted in the previous quarter.
Full price clothing sales were up 7%, as the retailer removed 27 promotions from the quarter and cut out one of its big clearance sale events.
“I am pleased that we continue to grow full price sales in Clothing & Home, with reduced discounting and no clearance sale in the quarter,” said Rowe.
“We start our summer sale today, a week later than last year, with terminal stock for the season significantly down.”
Group revenue at Marks & Spencer increased 2.7% and international sales rose by 3.8%.