Marks & Spencer has seen its sales increase by 10.4% in the first quarter of 2006. As a result it is stepping up its recruitment programme for stores that are being refurbished.
Customer demand is up compared with last year although it has to be noted that the first quarter of 2005 was a particularly weak one and didn’t include Easter.
As well as refurbishing 42 stores M&S has also bought 28 stores from Iceland, which will become Simply Food stores. The staffing requirement for the 70 stores will mean 4,000 new jobs are created.
However, M&S bosses remain cautious as the recovery is slowing and not all areas are performing as well as they might. Food for example is showing a 5.8% increase on last year comparing like for like while general merchandise has increased 10.5%. And within the general merchandise category home products increased 23.3%.
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