M&S sales boosted by promotions and innovation

Marks & Spencer has reported strong performance with sales increasing across all areas of the business in the chain’s first trading update since Marc Bolland took over as CEO.

UK sales were up 4.8% while like for like sales, which strip out sales from new stores, increased 3.6% during the 13 weeks to 3 July.

General merchandise, which includes clothing and home sales, increased 6.0% while food sales were up 1.5%.

M&S says its focus on promotions and launching 570 innovative food products helped its food business to outperform the market.

The retailer says it has grown its market share to 10.7%

Sales at M&S Direct, the retailer’s online business were up 49% during the quarter and it has improved its multi-channel business with the launch of a mobile platform and the roll out of its “Shop Your Way” service to more than 400 stores. 

Marc Bolland, M&S chief executive who took over from Sir Stuart Rose on 1 May, warns that despite a “good start” to the financial year, Chancellor George Osborne’s first budget including the increase in VAT will impact consumer confidence and spending and so the business is “cautious” about the outlook.

Bolland says: “Marks & Spencer has delivered another good sales performance in the first quarter, continuing the progress made by the team over the previous year. We have continued to grow market share across all parts of the business as customers recognised the strength of the Marks & Spencer brand and the great quality and value it represents.”

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