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M&S Aims to Halt Clothing Slide With New Collection

Marks and Spencer, the United Kingdom-based retailer, is pinning high hopes on the release of its new clothing collection.

Style director Belinda Earl has produced a wildly anticipated collection for fall and spring, but management has been careful not to inflate expectations. The new range is the first under the new general merchandize management team.

Under chief executive Marc Bolland, the chain is trying to halt the drop in comp-store clothing sales. Apparel as a sector has reported eight quarters of decline for the chain, and the new team is working to reverse that trend.

General merchandise manager John Dixon said that improvement will likely be incremental. M&S’s market share was down 38 base points through June 9th, and store sales are expected to fall a further 1.5% in the coming quarter.

Most recently, clothing sales were down by 3 percent in the 24 weeks leading to June 9th.

The collection will see a full launch and advertising push in September.