Womenswear at M&S gets lift with 'Art of...' campaign
Marks & Spencer has seen a 10pc rise in the number of 'party' dresses sold in Ireland since last year as consumers continue to spend money in the improving economy.
Shoppers have bought 20pc more lace dresses and the volume of sequinned dresses has doubled since last year as the Christmas party season looms. Big sellers include the €67 black floral Devore bodycon dress and the €88 Eyelash embellished neckline shift dress.
Key parts of the Marks & Spencer range of womenswear have also performed well over the last 12 months, with sales of Limited Edition clothing up 12pc and the Per Una brand up 2pc at its 17 Irish stores.
The retailer's new 'Art of...' campaign on TV, print and digital platform has also boosted sales by focussing on "the unique quality and style of Marks & Spencer products".
The Art of Comfort featured key pieces from the Rosie for Autograph lingerie range, has now sold over 40,000 items. The Art of Tailoring saw suit sales rise by 6pc, with over 4,000 suits in Marks & Spencer's Irish stores.
The selective Irish sales increases were one of the few bright spots in a weak set of results at the UK-headquartered retailer last week. Marks & Spencer's chief Marc Bolland has warned of a "spiky" run-up to Christmas, as Black Friday puts consumers in the mood for discounts after a slowdown in fashion sales last summer.
Bolland blamed unseasonal weather and a refusal to engage in widespread high street discounting in late summer for a fall in clothing and homeware sales at its core UK business over the last three months.
Last week, the company revealed a 1.9pc slide in sales of general merchandise at established stores in the three months to September, compared with a 0.4pc dip in the previous quarter.
The M&S's food division saw sales at established stores rise 0.2pc in the last quarter compared with a 0.3pc rise in the previous three months.
International sales fell 2.4pc amid political and economic problems in Russia, Turkey and Ukraine as well as currency exchange issues in Europe, which affected the chain's performance in Ireland and the Czech Republic.
Sunday Indo Business