Brazilian knickers give Marks & Spencer a boost

M&S underwear

Business digest: Underwear gives retail chain something to smile about as chief executive gets £15m pay packet

LAST UPDATED AT 10:50 ON Thu 14 Jul 2011

Marks & Spencer has cited low-cut Brazilian-style knickers as the product that boosted its sales by 3.2 per cent in the 13 weeks to July 2 - but the rest of its clothing range remains unpopular as overall sales in the division remained flat.

The retailer announced the news at its annual meeting yesterday, during which 97 per cent of the shareholders present backed a £15m long-term pay package for the company's chief executive Marc Bolland, who has been in the job for a year.

Those at the meeting, a largely elderly group, also voiced concerns about the bonus structure in the company and the suitability of M&S's clothing range for those over 60. "Where are the dresses with long-sleeves that provide a better cover up top?" asked one older shareholder.

Bolland said that he wants to make the chain's 219 stores "more shoppable" and that he wants "95 per cent of the population to be within a 30-minute drive of a full-line store by 2015".

Read a full report at the Guardian.

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.

Read next

Business: cost of ageing