Marks & Spencer sales edge up
Buoyant trading in food halls offsets poor sales figures in clothing
M&S sales edge ahead driven by a 4 per cent jump in sales in the food department. Photo: PA
Marks & Spencer reported sharply contrasting fortunes today as buoyant trading in its food halls helped offset more dismal sales figures in clothing.
Announcing its strongest growth in two years, M&S said overall like-for-like sales excluding changes in store space were up 0.6 per cent in the 13 weeks to March 30.
The improvement was driven by a 4 per cent jump in sales in the food department as consumers showed signs of trading up to the retailer in light of the horse meat scandal affecting a number of supermarkets.
Clothing sales remained under pressure, with the cold weather and weak consumer confidence forcing M&S to increase promotional activity in March.
Like-for-like sales were down 3.8 per cent in general merchandise but this was better than a number of City forecasts.