M&S to see more positive quarter as clothing arm gets back on track


Marks & Spencer is set to reveal improving sales at its ailing clothing arm thanks to the hot weather and late Easter in its update on Tuesday.

The retailer has recently undergone major changes in an effort to get its clothing line back on track, following plummeting sales.

Analysts have predicted that sales in its first quarter have dropped 1.3 per cent, a marked improvement on the 5.9 per cent drop seen in its fourth quarter, made worse by hopes of a turnaround.

READ MORE:  New M&S director Jill McDonald leaves £1.7m in bonuses

These figures differ from expert to expert, with Numis‘s Andrew Wade predicting a 1.5 per cent drop amid a declining market.

“While the combination of soft comps and calendar effects should result in a solid-looking first quarter result, we retain our negative stance, believing that M&S’s clothing and home division will prove more difficult and costly to turn around than expected,” Wade said.

Food sales at the retailer are expected to rise 0.6 per cent, up from a decline of 2.1 per cent in May, when the retailer posted an annual profits divebomb of 64 per cent.

Its chief executive Steve Rowe remains positive about the retailer‘s outlook, stating that the retailer had stabilised its market share this year, and full price sales had jumped by 11 per cent thanks to the removal of clearance promotions.

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter