M&S steals Debenhams' Pearce for womenswear

Resurgent Marks & Spencer has poached Daniel Pearce from rival Debenhams to promote its womenswear lines.

Likely to join within two months, Pearce will currying press favour for the clothes – seen as a barometer for the iconic retailer's overall performance.

Pearce will report to head of product PR Tania Littlehales, overseeing a four-strong team. He will promote seasonal launches and events, and handle relations with fashion media.

News of Pearce's move comes in the week that M&S revealed sales figures well ahead of analyst expectations, despite tough trading conditions. The performance suggests the recent M&S revival is continuing apace.

Like-for-like sales in the first three months of the year were up 6.8 per cent – more than double the forecast figure. Non-food sales of clothing and homeware played a major role in the retailer's results, with like-for-like sales up 8.2 per cent for this sector.

CEO Stuart Rose said: 'We are pleased with the progress we are making but there remains much to do. The trading environment remains difficult and we do not expect this to improve in the next financial year.'

Pearce, PR manager at Debenhams, replaces ex-PR manager for womenswear Peter Robinson, who left M&S for Harvey Nichols as PR head (PRWeek, 13 Jan).

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