M&S soars to five-year high as City welcomes new collection

City A.M. Reporter
FASHION media and analysts yesterday broadly welcomed Marks & Spencer’s new clothing strategy and a preview of autumn/winter fashion ranges, giving the firm’s boss some respite from pressure over falling sales.

Britain’s biggest clothing retailer said on Tuesday it would focus on better quality and styles in womenswear, deliver more compelling and clearer sub-brands, and make shopping easier in stores, as it tries to reverse nearly two years of declining sales.

Yesterday, shares in the 129-year-old firm, up 20 per cent over the past year after periodic bouts of bid speculation, rose by four per cent, hitting a five-year high of 438p.

“The changes outlined contained a variety of enhancements based on detailed customer feedback that even the bears will find hard to completely ignore,” said analysts at N+1 Singer, arguing that investors should not underestimate the potential from the changes.

M&S will present the ranges to the bulk of the fashion media today but some key fashion editors have already viewed the ranges and like them.