Marc Bolland's M&S turnaround plan on course with 0.6% hike in clothing sales

Marks & Spencer has avoided an 11th consecutive quarter of declining clothing sales, with 0.6% year-on-year growth, although overall general merchandise revenues fell 0.6% compared to the same period in 2013.

M&S:  'Leading Ladies' campaign shot by Annie Leibovitz
M&S: 'Leading Ladies' campaign shot by Annie Leibovitz

The retailer, reporting on the three months ending 31 March, said that food sales were up 0.1% year on year and 2.5% compared to Q4 of 2013.

Discussing the termination of its website partnership with Amazon, M&S said that it had cut its "usual level of marketing activity to ensure a smooth transition", adding that in May it will launch a marketing campaign to promote the new site.

In spite of the upheaval of its website migration, the retailer reported a 12.5 % year-on-year hike in online sales.

News of M&S’ 0.6% fall in non-food sales was met with a degree of optimism by the City, which was expecting a more dramatic decline.

Marc Bolland, the M&S chief executive, said: "We delivered another quarter of improvement in general merchandise. Clothing sales were up 1.3% in total, up 0.6% on a like-for-like basis. We are encouraged by womenswear, which is showing clear signs of improvement and performed ahead of clothing.

"Our food business had another great quarter, especially considering the later timing of Easter. This marks our 18th consecutive quarter of growth. We continued to outperform the market with record sales around key events including Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day."

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off the inaugural issue of Campaign's monthly print offering than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).