M&S shows key autumn ranges

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The Independent Online

Marks & Spencer last night unveiled its autumn and winter ranges, which are seen as crucial for turning around its falling clothing sales, to a fanfare in London. The collections are the first from the new fashion team led by John Dixon, the head of general merchandise, and Belinda Earl, its style director and former chief executive of Jaeger.

M&S also unveiled a series of initiatives, including reducing its number of suppliers by 10 per cent to focus more on quality, and a three-year partnership with the British Fashion Council. Mr Dixon said that improving its performance on clothing was "the golden key to the golden door", adding: "If you get womenswear firing on all cylinders there is a halo effect into the other areas."

The ranges are being billed by some as make or break for Marc Bolland, the chief executive, who has presided over seven quarters of declining clothing and homewares sales.