M&S shines through snow

Marks & Spencer says sales increased over the festive period, despite the disruption caused by snow, thanks to its star-studded advertising campaign starring Dannii Minogue.

/i/u/b/MarksandSpencerNewYear.jpg

M&S says total UK sales increased 4% while like-for-like sales rose 2.8% during the 13 weeks to 1 January, driven, it says, by innovative products and promotions.

General merchandise sales, including clothing and home, increased 3.8%, while its food business reported a 1.8% rise in sales during the period.

The retail chain estimates that the snow and ice, which affected footfall and online shopping in the run up to Christmas, had a 1% impact on food sales and a 3% impact on general merchandise.

In food, M&S says “bigger and more impactful promotions” including Deals of the Week and half price champagne, bolstered sales and helped deliver its biggest ever day of food sales reaching £50m on 23 December.

During the period, M&S introduced 600 new products in line with the strategy Bolland introduced in November to help differentiate M&S from the competition.

M&S Direct sales were up 25% in the quarter, a year on from the launch of its multi-channel proposition “Shop Your Way”.

Sales at international stores increased 4.5%, which the chain says reflects a good performance across most markets.

Bolland remains cautious about the outlook and expects trading to be “more challenging” as public spending cuts and increased VAT put further pressure on disposable income. He adds, however, that M&S is “well positioned to meet the changing needs of our customers”.

Marc Bolland, chief executive says: “Marks & Spencer traded well through the important Christmas period despite the severe weather as customers continued to return to M&S quality.”

“We delivered a great Christmas for our customers, from our stylish occasion wear to our innovative festive food”

Sir Stuart Rose, former CEO of M&S stepped down as chairman on 4 January, making way for Robert Swannell to take over the role.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here