Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 15:16 UK

Asda 'beats M&S in clothes sales'

Asda clothes
Demand for school clothes tends to peak over the Summer

Asda's George brand has overtaken Marks and Spencer to become the UK's biggest fashion retailer, figures suggest.

Demand for back-to-school clothes helped send George to the top of the class for the first time, with 10.1% market share, TNS Worldpanel said.

Primark had 9.9% share in the 12 weeks to 17 August while M&S took 9.8%.

Analysts said that clothes sales are volatile and that M&S was likely to retake top spot later in the year when the focus is on High Street sales.

Summer clothes sales were driven by T-shirts and vests, as well as back-to-school clothing, in which retail experts say George is especially strong.


The data was compiled by TNS Worldpanel for private research, and the firm would not comment on the findings.

George at Asda's managing director, Anthony Thompson, said in March last year that he wanted his business to take the top spot in the clothes market by 2011.

He added that while selling high volumes helped the firm, its customers had other priorities.

"The recession has changed an awful lot of things and I think the changes are permanent," he said.

"Value for money is not about cheap clothing. It's about quality, style and value coming together. The era of throwaway fashion is over — the recession has stopped it. Customers are asking for clothes that last."

He said that Primark or M&S would take the top slot again over Christmas.

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