The recent revival of UK high street giant Marks & Spencer showed no sign of ending on Tuesday as the retailer revealed surging second quarter sales that smashed all expectations.
The country’s largest clothing chain announced a 10% jump in like-for-like sales in the quarter to 28 September compared to the year-ago period on the back of soaring fashion sales.
M&S said sales improved in all adult clothing areas over the comparative quarter last year, with double-digit growth being achieved in womenswear, menswear and lingerie, leading to a 1% increase in overall market share.
Meanwhile, food sales also unexpectedly accelerated in a slowing industry, with growth of 6% when new selling space is stripped out. That compared with forecasts of around 2.5% and beat bigger rivals like Tesco.
The company said in a trading statement industry figures showed it has recaptured 1% of the UK clothing market during the first half, giving it a share of around 11% of the lucrative sector.
CEO Roger Holmes commented: “I am very pleased with these results, albeit delivered against our own weak comparatives and in buoyant high street conditions.
“The improvements made to date in clothing appeal, store ambience, food innovation and home product have been appreciated by our customers and are delivering results.
“We expect high street conditions to normalise as the year progresses but we know we can do even more to create a better shopping experience for our customers and to recover lost ground.”
He added the company’s interim results will be announced on 5 November.