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M&S results a clue to retail future

The cost of living will come under the spotlight again next week when official figures are released while high street bellwether Marks & Spencer will update the market.

Marks & Spencer is set to reveal increasing sales growth on Wednesday as it shrugs off the tough conditions.

Analysts expect the retailer to report a 1.5% increase in like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to the end of June, up from the 0.1% increase in the previous quarter.

M&S, which has 703 stores in the UK and 361 overseas, is thought to have reaped the rewards of changes brought in by its new boss Marc Bolland, who took over in May 2010, and has increased its focus on quality and value. Its recent results are also thought to have been boosted by a new advertising campaign.

M&S is expected to have reversed a decline in sales of general merchandise, which includes clothes and homewares. Sales are expected to be flat compared to a decline of 3.4% in the previous quarter.

But food sales are believed to have slowed to 3% from 3.4% the previous quarter amid fierce competition with the supermarkets.

Source : Shropshire Star
www.shropshirestar.com/business/city-news/2011/07/09/ms-results-a-clue-to-retail-future/

09 July 2011
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