M&S food outperforms clothing

Marks & Spencer has reported better than expected results for the first three months in the year as rising food sales offset falling clothing performance.

/x/t/m/mandsfood160.jpg

The high street retail chain reported that its food business increased 3.4% on a like for like basis, outperforming its general merchandise business, which reported a 3.9% fall in sales for the 13 weeks to 2 April.

Overall, like for like sales remained flat, up just 0.1%.

The food business was driven by the launch of 320 new products during the quarter, promotions around Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day and the continuing Dine In meal offer, the retailer claims.

Its healthy food ranges ’Count on Us’ and ’Simply Fuller Longer’ reported a strong improvement in sales.

The retailer says it latest advertising campaign, starring Lisa Snowdon and Jamie Redknapp and focusing on M&S’s exclusive “Only at M&S” technologies, has had a “good start” and customers are responding well to its fashion trends.

Group sales increased 2.3% during the quarter while UK total sales were 1% up.

International sales increased 12.6% while its online business M&S Direct sales reported a 13.7% rise driven by the multi-channel “Shop your Way” proposition.

Marc Bolland, M&S chief executive says: “We had a good fourth quarter in a challenging trading environment. In times like these customers are increasingly turning to M&S for value, quality and innovation. Strong products backed by great advertising meant we outperformed the market and grew share in both Food and Clothing.”

He added that the plans outlined to grow its international business, which reported a 12.6% increase, while with a return to France, a design partnership with Sir Terence Conran and the appointment of former Tesco.com CEO Laura Wade-Gery will “continue to build momentum” for the chain.

Bolland expects the next 12 months to be “increasingly challenging” as high commodity prices puts pressure on disposable incomes.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest 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 will be 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.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

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