Marks & Spencer Group PLC (M&S) reported its first quarter trading statement for the 13 weeks ended June 28, 2014. The Group highlights included its Group sales up by +2.3 percent, and International sales up by +4.7 percent on a constant currency basis.
M&S also reported sales in India, one of its priority markets, were up strongly with double digit total growth of 36 percent. Sales in India were driven by the strong performance across its womenswear, menswear, lingerie, kidswear and beauty departments, with highlights in its linen and beachwear categories.
Venu Nair, Managing Director of Marks & Spencer Reliance India, said, “We continued to see a good performance with strong double digit growth from our stores in India during the first quarter of the year. From our exceptional quality, great value linen to our stylish beachwear, our products resonates well with our customers in India as we continue to build a leadership position in the market.”
Through its established sourcing operation in India and South Asia, M&S sources a high percentage of its products from local suppliers in India, local sourcing enables M&S to offer more colours and styles in India, whilst ensuring its pricing remains competitive. During the quarter, M&S’ linen sales was up 31 percent compared to last year. M&S’s beachwear also performed well in India during the quarter, with overall sales increasing by 37 percent on last year. Swimsuit sales were up 22 percent on last year, whilst cover ups were the fastest growing part of the range seeing sales increase by 90 per cent on last year.
In May, M&S opened its first standalone lingerie and beauty store at Infinity II shopping mall in Mumbai. The move capitalises on the growth opportunities in the lingerie and beauty in the Indian market – during the quarter M&S saw its lingerie and beauty sales increase by 33 per cent and 38 per cent respectively on the previous year.
M&S’s innovative and stylish shapewear lingerie, which helps customers achieve a flattering silhouette, continues to perform well in India, with sales up 29 per cent on last year. Shapewear now accounts for 9 per cent of M&S’s total lingerie sales in the Indian market.