Marks and Spencer clothing sales decline set to slow in trading update

 
Alys Key
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Rosie Huntington Whiteley Her Launches Range Of Lingerie & Nightwear For Marks & Spencer
Rosie Huntington Whiteley's lingerie range is among M&S's flagship clothing products (Source: Getty)

Rapidly declining sales in Marks and Spencer’s clothing department could be about to slow, as the retailer gears up for a first quarter trading update this week.

City analysts are anticipating a slowdown in the rate of decline for the beleaguered section, with HSBC projecting a 2 per cent drop and Jefferies anticipating just a 1.3 per cent decline. The previous quarter saw a decline in clothing of 5.9 per cent.

Read more: Sales edge up at Debenhams but it warns of volatility

CEO Steve Rowe is expected to address previously announced plans to add seven per cent to food floor space and shrink clothing and home by one to two per cent when the trading statement is released on Tuesday.

Food sales, which dipped by 2.1 per cent last quarter, are expected by analysts at Jefferies to rebound with a 0.6 per cent rise, partially due to rising inflation.

Read more: Shop price inflation set to hit consumers as retailers pass on costs

Last year the retailer beat consensus estimates in its half-yearly results, delivering revenues of £5.63bn in the second half of 2017 compared to a predicted £5.44bn.

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