M&S’s credit score plunges into the negative

Marks and Spencer M&S Moody's
The continued decline in like-for-like Clothing & Home sales reflect the challenges the company
// Moody’s lowers M&S’s credit rating from stable to negative
// The change follows M&S’s recent trading report, which recorded a decline across clothing & home like-for-like sales

Moody’s has downgraded Marks & Spencer’s credit rating from stable to negative following a strenuous year for the retailer.

The influential credit ratings agency confirmed M&S’s Baa3 senior unsecured ratings and its long-term (P)Baa3 senior unsecured MTN Program rating.

The change to negative comes after M&S’s recent trading report, which recorded a 2.7 per cent decline across clothing and home like-for-like sales over the 13 weeks to December 28.


Marks & Spencer reported a “disappointing” Christmas trading period despite its food division making a “standout” performance.

The continued decline in like-for-like clothing and home sales reflect the challenges the company is facing to curb the trend of deteriorating underlying profitability, which has fallen each year since peaking in fiscal 2016.

“The negative outlook reflects the risk that the company’s profitability may continue to decline, notwithstanding the strategic efforts to reposition the business for sustainable growth,” Moody’s lead analyst David Beadle said.

“The latest results highlight the challenges in clothing and home even though it is positive to note signs of progress in food, cost control, and the decision last year to reduce dividends.”

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  1. Not surprised !
    I am a very long time supporter of MandS . This began in the early 60’s.when I worked for them, one would be so proud to work for this wonderful company.
    Todays M and S is a completely different story. They have put themselves out of business with their greed and lack of investment in the future. Mand S has become tired and old and boring.
    It’s too late now to put this right but they are trying…..but it wont work…….too little too late .

    I am so sad.

  2. I currently work for M&S and can categorically say that the food aspect is booming.
    I feel the GM side will soon be an online store only.
    Now to get a grasp on less waste in house is needed.

  3. M and S when I was growing up were fab. I remember the more than 80 per cent made in the UK. Unfortunately 30 years later that is no longer the case. M and S stores used to be packed pre internet when they hit £1bn profit a year you could not move in stores like Canterbury. Now today more store closures being announced with Spalding Foodhall and anoher out of town Milton Keynes store due to close soon.

    It is a big shame. Whilst the food is still great very much the clothes leave a lot to be desired.
    They really are not that great !

  4. Exactly so true they sprnd sooo much on commercials get the best models and women.
    But it never translates in the store it srrms more for the well endowed older people and I’m 38 but i dont think M&S i go to Next or Boohoo M&S seems blah alot of the time sorry to say.

  5. I’ve had a £75 gift voucher for M&S for 8 months and find it impossible to spend their ranges in clothing and homewares are outdated and expensive and I agree they are putting themselves out of business.

  6. I totally agree! I could go in M&S five years ago and spend £200 a month, but now I dont go in at all, primarily because there isn’t a shop in my area. Also, even though I am 74 years old, I find that it is now ‘old fashioned’ so I shop elsewhere – but I really do miss the ‘old’ M&S.

  7. They should listen to their customers, also remember they are a chain store not Bond Street. When a couple of doors down from my local M&S is Primark selling a pair of slippers for £4 the same pair at m&s is £15. You cannot justify your massive prices and the dreary washerwoman dresses this autumn were horrendous. Get a new fashion person in and look around your competitors more.

  8. I’ve worked there for 8 years and in that time it has deteriated dramatically, section managers don’t do any work they just deem it necessary to sit in the office while hardworking staff are left to themselves, and some staff have been there for too long and think they know better than anyone else. And if you have the unfortunate problem of getting a life shortening illness they will sack you!

  9. They let themselves down
    If only you would ask the question to the customers what they want
    The buyer needs to open their eyes and look at what joe public wants not what you tell us what you want
    The customers are still there but you insult them buy repeatedly bring last year’s designs forward
    P.s.we don’t need to see linen clothes in store now

  10. The clothes are boring , grey and black rail after rail, over the years have spent many happy hours there, jumpers not too bad, I got a voucher at Christmas and couldn’t find anything I liked, need to get a new fashion buyer, sorry

  11. Feel very let down with M&S have shopped there for years and can remember quality of clothing and made in UK now quality not nearly as good. Unfortunately no store in my area closed last year and do not like ordering on line like to see before buying. Have vouchers to spend but do not like what I see materials and designs are very old fashioned certainly in need of different stylist. Feel M&S are slowly putting themselves out of business

  12. I thought the appointment of Archie Norman as chairman would have been the answer to the companies problems.He made the great mistake of running with Steve Rowe as CEO; a person that had been with the company for 30 years; surely part of the problem when new blood was an essential requirement for a successful turnaround.If they foul up Ocad they are dead in the water; I am not confident that they will get it right

  13. I’m 22 and M&S is one of my favourite places to shop. My clothing style is more work casual so they always have quality items I love and their shoes are much more comfortable compared to Zara or H&M. I love M&S food, clothes, and home!


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