Marks & Spencer has become the latest casualty in the retail sales slump, as it posted a 6.1% fall in second-quarter like-for-like sales in the UK. The result was the company’s worst quarterly performance since early 2005.
M&S chairman Sir Stuart Rose (pictured) says consumer confidence remains low, making the retail environment unpredictable. He also says the retailer is planning to cost cuts and increase promotions.
“Consumer confidence remains fragile and the retail environment unpredictable. Consumers are increasingly cautious about their budgets,” he says. “Capital expenditure this year is now expected to be around £700m, compared to our previous guidance of £800m to £900m.”
In other results, like-for-like general merchandise sales fell 6.4%, with food sales 5.9% lower in the same period.
Overall group sales rose 0.4%, with UK sales down 1.6%. This was in contrast to a 24.2% rise in international sales and a 34% rise in online sales.