Marks & Spencer has reported a rise in clothing and lingerie sales for the first time in nearly four years, boosted by Rosie Huntington-Whitely as the face of Autograph.
The retail chain said like-for-like sales in ‘general merchandise’, which includes women’s clothing and lingerie, climbed by 0.7% in the 13 weeks to March 28.
The increase in takings marks an end to 14 consecutive quarters of falling sales. This has resulted in company shares jumping by 6% to their highest level in seven years.
Marks & Spencer said the growth in general merchandise was driven by a continued focus on product quality and styling.
It also said its Autograph brand sold well, almost notching up double-digit total sales during the period.
Rosie for Autograph, the retailer’s luxury range, sold nearly 400,000 items in the first quarter, up 108% on the year – and the bestseller was her £25 padded bra.
Chief executive Marc Bolland said: “We have made strong progress over the quarter. We continued to deliver on General Merchandise gross margin, and are pleased that we have achieved this whilst also improving General Merchandise sales. M&S.com has returned to growth, as planned, with further improvement in customer metrics.”