M&S suffers “disappointing” Christmas period

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M&S Marks & Spencer Marks and Spencer Steve Rowe trading update
The business said it had to deal with competitors offering discounts to customers
// Marks & Spencer food sales rise while clothing and home sales drop during Christmas
// Online clothes sales were lower than expected
// International sales fell 2.3% to £251 million

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

UK food revenue grew 1.5 per cent to £1.7 billion in the three months to the end of December.

However, sales in the clothing and home division fell 2.7 per cent to £1.1 billion in the third quarter.


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Online clothes sales were lower than expected, with revenue in the UK edging up by 1.5 per cent.

The retailer said it had to deal with competitors offering discounts to customers, and less furniture being dispatched.

Meanwhile, UK revenue grew a mere 0.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

International sales fell 2.3 per cent to £251 million.

“The food business continued to outperform the market, and clothing and home had a strong start to the quarter, albeit this was followed by a challenging trading environment in the lead-up to Christmas,” M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said.

He added that “disappointing one-off issues” such as waste in the food business and the performance of its gifts range “held M&S back from delivering a stronger result”.

On a call with reporters, Rowe said that although customers purchased a lot of M&S food, “we bought more than we sold”, but he promised that no food waste went to landfill.

M&S stuck to its guidance, but warned that gross margins are likely to be at the lower end of expectations.

with PA Wires

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6 COMMENTS

  1. FOOD WASTE……..
    Not to landfill….
    This is not correct.

    Staff used to be able to purchase time dated food at a discount, but this perk was taken away some years ago.
    Food still goes to waste.
    As M&S staff wages are dismall….
    Bring back the reduced price for staff when food is about to go out of date, instead of landfill.
    Please Help……

    • In the local store according to a current staff member; they were letting the staff take it home for nothing because the amount of food waste was huge!

  2. Yes it’s a shame we can’t buy it like we did years ago however it doesn’t get thrown away it’s reduced twice and at our store its always sold going back into our profit margin. Surely that’s better and keeping us all in jobs??

  3. Even though M&S food sales were up they still went on the side of caution on there food to order, I know a lot of people who were told in the first week of December they couldn’t pre order from their Christmas catalogue

  4. Used to work for them the waste issue was horrendous no one cared or even understood the cost to the business, very poorly trained Managers including the Regional Manager of Northern Ireland who hadn’t a baldy. Total disgrace what they through into the bins

  5. M&S seem intent on sticking their heads firmly in the sand. Clothing is poorly fitting yet still at premium prices. I had slippers that had to be returned due to a fault that I was reliably told was not just on my pair and likely looking at a recall.
    Gifts range was nice enough, but lots of cheap ‘made in China’ rubbish that you had to wade through to find the decent items. People don’t have the patience for that.

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