Marks and Spencer clothing division shows signs of recovery

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.

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“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%.

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