Marks & Spencer loses clothing market share -data

LONDON, March 20 Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:19am EDT

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Marks & Spencer, Britain's biggest clothing retailer, lost market share over the last three months, market data showed on Thursday, reversing a small gain late last year that was heralded by its chief executive as a sign his recovery plan was working.

Data from research group Kantar Worldpanel, seen by Reuters, showed M&S' share of the UK fashion market declined 0.2 percent in the 24 weeks to Feb. 16 and was down 0.4 percent in the latter 12 weeks of the period.

The data showed M&S's share of the key womenswear market contracted 0.2 percent over the 24 weeks and 0.5 percent over the latter 12 weeks.

The loss of share will likely up the pressure on CEO Marc Bolland, who has presided over 10 straight quarters of declining underlying sales in M&S's general merchandise division, which includes clothing. ($1 = 0.6014 British Pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by David Holmes)

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