Retailers to defy gloom
M&S ready to spring surprise with Xmas uplift
Last week’s grim trading update from Next wiped millions off its value and sparked worries of a bloodbath in the sector.
However, analysts believe there will be better figures to come. John Lewis has already reported a surge in like-for-like sales,
Debenhams, Morrisons, and Tesco are said to have done well with Marks & Spencer set to be the biggest, and most surprising, winner.
Analysts are pencilling in a 0.2% rise in the beleaguered clothing and home sales division which has been in decline for years.
It would be only the second time in 23 quarters that M&S has been able to record a positive figure in this division.
Former CEO Marc Bolland threw millions at new lines and promotions but could not stop the rot.
Halting the decline would be a huge boost to his successor Steve Rowe who may also give an update on the store closure programme.
Debenhams is on course to record 0.5% like-for-like sales growth, while Primark owner Associated British Foods is heading for a 2% rise.
Morrisons, for so long the struggler in the supermarket sector, is expected to show further progress in its turnaround campaign.
Tesco is also showing a return to form, and may even have managed to resist the traditional switch to M&S and Waitrose for Christmas food.