Blog: Leonie BarrieM&S Christmas sales sparkle

Leonie Barrie | 9 January 2007

Unlike many of its high street rivals, M&S had a very happy Christmas, with its market share in clothing growing by 10.5% in the third quarter ended 30 December. Based on its current performance the UK’s largest clothing retailer is also likely to come close to the record GBP1bn profits it recorded in 1997, when it posts full year results for the 12 months to 1 April.

But according to figures released today by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), it hasn’t been such a rosy time for many other high street retailers, with UK retail sales up 2.5% on a like-for-like basis in December 2006 compared with the same month last year, driven by heavy discounting in the run-up to Christmas. And last week Next, the UK’s third largest clothing retailer, said same-store sales fell 6.9% in the 21 weeks to 24 December, while department store Debenhams said its same-store sales were down 4.7% in the 14 weeks to 10 December.

So it’s becoming apparent that the gap between the winners and losers is already starting to widen. And as M&S CEO Stuart Rose has said on numerous occasions in the past, the retailer is determined to make sure it falls into the first category – and not the second.

M&S continues on road to recovery


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