Marks & Spencer is predicted by City analysts to post a rise in clothing sales for the first time in six years amid a pessimistic landscape.
Scheduled to release its Christmas figures on Thursday alongside seven other big name retailers, M&S is expected to report a 0.2 per cent rise in sales – bucking a six-year trend for the retailer.
The department store’s shares plummeted last week following Next’s warning of its poor Christmas trading, which extended the warning to all fashion retailers over the coming year.
Numis Securities retail analyst Andrew Wade predicted a one per cent rise in clothing and homeware for the M&S, after it “performed so poorly in clothing and homewares through the third quarter last year, we see a good possibility that the division reports a small positive life-for-like outcome this time.”
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The retailer recently announced plans to shut around 30 UK stores and convert 45 more in an effort to overhaul the company’s infrastructure after it posted an 18.6 per cent fall in pretax profits and a massive 88.4 per cent drop in bottom-line profits for the six months to October 1.
Many City analysts are also predicting a return to form from Tesco, which is predicted to have maintained a healthy recovery over the imperative festive trading period.
Shore Capital analyst Clive Black said Tesco could see a 1.25 -1.75 per cent rise in like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter.
Analysts will keep an eye on any damage caused by the recent cyber-attack which saw the Big 4 retailer lose £2.5 million of customers’ money from its banking arm.
Rivals Sainsbury’s and Morrisons are also expected to fall behind Tesco, with Sainsbury’s thought to have lost many customers to Tesco over the Christmas period. Morrisons is expected to see around 0.5 per cent growth.