Marks & Spencer’s lingerie sales rose 4% over the quarter, despite an overall drop in sales over the Christmas trading period.
The store sold 170,000 pieces of lingerie over the festive season, with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Autograph line being the top seller. Her Rosie for Autograph ruby silk padded bra sold 14,500 during the quarter.
These figures were released just days after David Cameron revealed he was wearing the brand’s pants during his speech at the London Collections: Men launch.
After last summer’s speculation that M&S could be the target of a takeover bid due to poor performance, M&S chief executive, Marc Bolland, has overhauled the clothing team, hiring Janie Schaffer, co-founder of Knickerbox and former chief creative worker at Victoria’s Secret, as director of lingerie, and former Jaeger boss Belinda Earl to head up womenswear.
The company’s trading statement, which was released a day early after the sales figures were leaked to Sky News, showed a 1.8% drop in same-store sales for the third quarter of the year, alongside a 3.8% slump in non-food sales.
Bolland, who was forced to issue a statement on the early release, said: "We had an incident tonight – information had leaked out from our statement. As a consequence of that we had advice from brokers to bring out our full statement. This had nothing to do with a profits warning or panic on our side."
While food sales rose by 0.3%, boosted by a record number of fresh turkeys sold, sales of general merchandise, including homewares and clothes, fell 3.8%.