M&S credits marketing for strong growth

Marks & Spencer says high profile marketing campaigns starring Dannii Minogue helped boost sales across food and clothing in the three months to 2 October.

The high street chain reported a 6.5% rise in total sales and 5.3% rise in like for like sales, which exclude new stores and space.

Its general merchandise division performed better than its food division, up 7% compared to 3.7%.

The retail chain says its increased investment in marketing including its latest advertising campaigns, which star Caroline Quentin in its food ads and celebrities including Dannii Minogue, Twiggy and Lisa Snowdon in its fashion ads, have driven more customers in store.

Recent marketing investment has helped the chain deliver a record season on women’s footwear.

M&S says its food division has grown due to its improved value and investment in innovation and claims to be the only retailer that improved its perception of value during the period.

Marc Bolland, M&S chief executive, says: “M&S has had a good second quarter, growing market share across all parts of the business. Customers are returning to quality. In food they are responding well to our better value and innovation, and in Clothing are increasingly choosing M&S’s great fashions and quality that lasts.”

However, Bolland warns that public spending cuts and the increased VAT rate will put consumers under greater pressure and remains cautious about the outlook for the rest of the year.

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