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Marks sparks sales revival thanks to Rose

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Stuart Rose, boss of Marks and Spencer, has cautiously welcomed a turnaround in the fortunes of the store, but has conceded there is a lot of work in terms of UK investment still to be done before the recovery can be said to be complete.

The firm reported like-for-like sales – which strip out the effects of new stores opening – up 5.6% on the October-December period of a year ago. It also now has 10.5% share of the UK womenswear market, making it the biggest seller of these items in the country.

The share price currently stands at around £7, a big improvement on the £4 he inherited in March 2004.

Rose has used a canny mix of best investment techniques and astute retailing and marketing skills to effect the transformation.

When he started, he was immediately placed under massive pressure from rival Philip Green at BHS to sell the company, but resisted and has gone from strength to strength since. His tactics have proved the best investment for the company.

Advertising campaigns featuring Twiggy, Elizabeth Jagger and Shirley Bassey have been well received, and with the much-praised food adverts generating a lot of trade the business looks set fair for 2007.

Rose said: “We have now delivered growth on growth in all areas of our business, thus completing the first part of our recovery plan.”

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