Marks & Spencer’s to announce festive trading update on Thursday

Marks SpencerLargest retail chain in the UK, Marks & Spencer's is expected to announce its festive trading update on Thursday while analysts have said that the company might record discouraging results.

Bolland, the chief executive of Marks & Spencer's is expecting encouraging figures following this winter shopping season as analysts raised doubts over the company's strategy to focus on younger shoppers instead of its older target group. Bolland had taken over from Sir Stuart Rose in the summer of 2010 and is facing intense pressure to turn around business at the fashion retail chain.

Market analysts have said that Bolland might face credibility test if the figures from the autumn and winter range falls significantly. The new head of the company, which is the largest retail giant in the UK, has faced criticism for focusing on women aged around 40 and under for its clothing range instead of its 55-plus age group customers. Many believe that the women wear sales to fall significantly but Bolland will be able to continue his plans if the figures do not collapse completely.

Estimate showed that food sales are expected to have grown by 1.5 per cent to 2 per cnet in the three months till December while homeware and clothing might have fallen between 0.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent.