Marks & Spencer’s clothing sales through Alibaba soar in China

Oliver Smith
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David Gandy attends a photocall to launch his collection for Marks and Spencer Autograph
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant which could hold the title of having the world’s biggest ever initial public offering after raising $21.8bn on Friday, has helped to boost Marks & Spencer’s (M&S) online clothing sales in China.

The head of M&S’s overseas internet business, Ricky Wilson, said on Saturday that M&S is now the fastest growing international brand on Tmall, a subsidy of Alibaba that the iconic British retailer had sold through since December 2012.

Alibaba’s shares were so popular during its float on Friday that the price had to be revised up from their initial value of $68 to open at $92.70, peaking at $99.70 later in the afternoon. Shares closed at $93.89, valuing the firm at $231bn.

Around 271m shares were traded – more than double the number during the stock market debuts of Twitter or Facebook.

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