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Nov 4, 2009
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M&S sees no repeat of blanket pre-Xmas promotions

By
Reuters
Published
Nov 4, 2009


LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) does not expect a repeat of the "blanket type" promotional activity that dominated trading in the run up to last Christmas, its chairman said on Wednesday 4 November.

"We intend to trade full price to Christmas," Stuart Rose told reporters, after the clothing, food and homewares group beat forecasts with flat first-half profits.

Rose said trading was likely to be very competitive and tactical promotions were going on all the time.

But "I don't see a blanket type action that we saw last year to stimulate trade," he added.

Last year, Marks & Spencer (M&S) held two 20 percent-off pre-Christmas sales.

Rob Templeman, the head of British department stores group Debenhams (DEB.L) said last month he expected sales promotions would be as rife this Christmas as last year.

Rose also expressed concerns the British government might go beyond its plans to reverse a temporary cut in VAT sales tax in January by increasing it above 17.5 percent or by extending it to previously exempt categories.

"This government has got to make some hard choices to refill the coffers," he said. (Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Mark Potter)

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