M&S says sales boosted by food innovations

Marks & Spencer has reported a rise in sales in the first quarter of the year, driven by its food business.

marksandspencer

The retailer attributes the growth in food sales to the launch of 500 new food products during the quarter and its Dine in for £10 promotion.

The retailer reported 1.7% rise in like for like sales, which only excludes stores open for less than a year, for the 13 weeks to 2 July 2011.

Food sales increased 3.3% while general merchandise sales, which includes clothing and homewear, were flat.

Total sales increased 2.7% during the period.

Sales at M&S Direct, its online business, were up 13% in the quarter, boosted by the roll out of its multi-channel shopping service “Shop Your Way” which allows customers to order online and collect in a local store.

International sales increased 7.8% during the period.

M&S also reported market share gains across both food and clothing. It now holds an 11.7% share of the clothing market and 3.8% of the food market, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Marc Bolland, CEO, says the retailer says it grew its market share in clothing and food by offering customers more choice, innovation and great value for money.

He adds: “Against the uncertain economic backdrop, we are focused on trading through the short term, while building for the long term growth of the business.”

Bolland introduced the ’Only at M&S’ brand last year to highlight the innovations that differentiate M&S from the competition.

In March, M&S launched its first advertising campaign using the ’Only at M&S’ brand to highlight its Stormwear and Insolia technology innovations used in it men’s suits and women’s high heels.

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