An M&S spokesman shrugged off the report saying that market share figures "bounce up and down" on a monthly basis, due to the high levels of promotional activity on the high street at the moment. "If you look at any quarter, we could be up or down in womenswear, up or down in menswear. Therefore, on aggregate, we tend to look at it over a 12-month period". However, other commentators noted that by comparison, high street rivals Next and Debenhams held onto their respective shares well over the 24 weeks to March 1, with Next growing by 13 basis points, and Debenhams by eight basis points.
While there's no doubt that trading conditions on the high street continue to be tough, Fashionista asks whether the same is true of the designer end of the market? While overall sales may be down, a certain level of confidence seems to remain in the market, at least as far as is necessary to invest in new store openings or refurbishments. The Telegraph's Natasha Cowan has counted at least 10 boutique designer stores that are either opening or refurbishing in London this Spring. These include:
- the long awaited Marc by Marc Jacobs London store which opened last week in Mayfair's South Audley Street;
- Bringing a little bit of Paris to London, Lanvin's new store on Mount Street opens on 26th April stretching over five floors;
- Missoni's first ever London store, which opened its doors on Sloane Street at Christmas, but has its launch party this week;
- Michael Kors opens on Bond Street in a few weeks' time and
- Burberry has just opened its first children'swear store in Westbourne Park.
To cheer herself up and remove herself from all the depressing credit crunch talk, Fashionista likes nothing better than a spot of retail therapy, so will be checking out some of the new openings this weekend!