Retail chain Marks & Spencer (M&S), which announced a £400 million IT investment plan in May, has reported that consumer confidence is returning and its sales are marginally up. Online sales rose by 28 per cent.

Group wide sales for M&S were up by 2.9 per cent and UK sales up by 1.7 per cent, although like-for-like sales were down in the UK by 1.4 per cent. By product line, sales of clothing were up by 1.4 per cent, home wares up by 0.1 per cent and food up by 2.0 per cent. Overall the performance was good, like-for-like sales for the previous financial year in the UK were down by 5.9 per cent. Sales rose last year by 0.4 per cent.

The biggest growth area for M&S was online sales in its quarter one trading, the 13 weeks to 27 June. M&S sells all of its product lines online.

In May M&S announced that it would invest £400m into its IT and supply chain infrastructure, shifting investment plans away from its property. M&S has been a considerable IT investor over the last two years. Daryl Stein, its CIO is also head of supply chain and is driving plans to have goods delivered directly to the stores to reduce the carbon footprint of the company.