Marks and Spencer may have finally cracked it with new clothing collection


Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LSE:MKS) may have finally designed a clothing collection that will appeal to women of all ages, after becoming a synonym of ‘boring’ on the high street.

The ‘Anything but ordinary’ Autumn/Winter range will feature knitwear, Mom and Boyfriend style jeans, padded coats and jumpers, with a “more casual & colourful” style than usual.

READ: Marks & Spencer shares jump on upgrade to buy from UBS

All cotton will be from sustainable sources, the spray used for faded denim will be more eco-friendly and the warehouses for online shopping will be powered by renewable energy, with all receipts being paperless.

Analysts at Barclays upgraded the target price from 200p to 215p, maintaining the ‘overweight’ rating, as it reckons the clothing & home segment offers margin potential, with a forecast of over 7% by 2024.

“The recent trading statement from M&S was encouraging – sales in both key segments were better than we had dared hope, and the positive profit commentary suggests that both gross margins and costs have developed very satisfactorily,” the bank commented.

“The consequent 18% profit before tax increase we assume for the current year is, of course, welcome, although we make much smaller increases for future years.”

Fellow market watchers at UBS reckon there will be more upgrades to come, and the strategy update on 7 October could provide greater clarity and help shares continue to outperform.

Shares were flat at 186.35p on Wednesday before close, having risen 33% in the past month.


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