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Clothing offers slight boost for M&S
Apparel sales marginally up on last year despite fall in non-food sales.

By Christina Williams

9 April 2014

Clothing sales have bolstered the overall performance of M&S’ non-grocery operation this quarter, despite an overall dip in non-food sales in the first three months of the year.

Like-for-like sales in the division rose by 0.6 per cent, despite falling sales of 0.6 per cent elsewhere in the retailer’s non-food sales performance. The figures make for sobering reading for the high-street giant, which has seen falling sales in its non-food division for the past 11 quarters in a row.

CEO Marc Bolland, however, described the performance of the clothing sector as “encouraging”.

Food sales were responsible for the increase in the retailer’s overall sales performance, which saw UK sales up by 1.5 per cent.

Clothing, however, continues to be a key focus for M&S, as the retailer tries to maintain its position as a key player on the high street in light of increased competition from rival Next. Having announced profits of £965m last month – while experts predict that M&S profits will fall to £623m ­– Next is set to potentially outperform M&S for the first time ever when annual results are published in May.


 
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