High street retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S)’ Chinese operations are missing sales targets by 30 per cent despite identifying the country as a key growth market, it has been reported.
According to Sky News, the last few months have seen sales decline and increased concern about future expansion plans, though the retailer has stores both in rural areas and in burgeoning retail hub Shanghai.
Such disappointing news will do little to allay fears about M&S’ future, as earlier this month the retailer announced a 1.8 per cent like-for-like sales fall in the UK over the Christmas period, as another poor General Merchandise performance dragged down headline figures.
However, many retailers have turned to the East in the past year as they seek expansion into thriving markets, with British fashion and homewares specialist Cath Kidston opening two stores in Shanghai just this month as the Chinese appetite for all things British continues to grow.
International sales over its third quarter grew 4.1 per cent and a statement from the group at the time noted, “Our key International markets in India and China continued to trade well, however, international sales overall were impacted by currency translation as well as continued macro-economic weakness in the Republic of Ireland and Greece and the on-going restructuring of our Central European business.”
M&S declined to comment on the latest news.