M&S posts unexpected sales slide

Marks & Spencer has reported an unexpected fall in sales in the final quarter following a slide in clothing sales.

MS ad

Like-for-like sales in the UK were down 0.7% in the 13 weeks to 31 March. Total group sales, which include new and overseas stores, increased 0.8%.

Sales were hit by poor performance in its general merchandise division, which includes fashion and home, and fell by 2.8%.

M&S admitted performance across its clothing business was “mixed”, as a number of areas were short of stock of best selling lines.

The decision to exit the technology market impacted homewear sales.

Food sales, however, increased 1% on a like-for-like basis, credited to more than 500 new products during the quarter and promotions such as its Valentine’s Day dine in meal deal.

Sales in M&S’s international business also fell 2%. The online business, however, increased sales by 22.8% in the period.

M&S also says its pilot stores with new branding and layout for its fashion brands are “performing well” and getting a good response from customers. The store overhaul will continue to roll out across the store portfolio and is due for completion by mind-2013.

CEO Marc Bolland says: “While the short term trading outlook continues to be challenging, we are focused on investing in line with our plan and are making strong progress against our goal of becoming an international, multi-channel retailer.”

Recommended

Michael

What links pregnant men and the price of pecans?

Michael Barnett

According to the National Health Service, 20,000 men in the UK are pregnant. It’s just one example of how dodgy data gathering can be obscuring, rather than illuminating. And Experian says marketers are throwing away 15% of their budget because of mistakes like this.

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola to gauge social value of its marketing

Seb Joseph

Coca-Cola is to measure the social impact its London 2012 Olympic Games Sponsorship activity is having on communities around the world, a move that comes days after the company was criticised by a medical body for sponsoring the Olympics.

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber

    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    Subscribers get unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing and world-renowned columnists, alongside carefully curated reports and briefings from Econsultancy. Find out more.

    If you are an existing print subscriber find out how you can get access here.

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

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

    Subscribers get unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing and world-renowned columnists, alongside carefully curated reports and briefings from Econsultancy. Find out more.

    If you are an existing print subscriber find out how you can get access here.

    Subscribe now