Falling meals gross sales hit Marks & Spencer

Falling food sales hit Marks & Spencer

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Media captionM&S boss Steve Rowe says he’s ‘protective the magic’

Marks & Spencer has reported falling clothes and meals gross sales and warned that it sees little growth in gross sales this yr.

Like-for-like gross sales, which strip out the have an effect on of latest shops, had been down 2.2% for the six months to the top of September.

Meals gross sales had been down 2.9% and clothes and residential gross sales slid 1.1%.

M&S warned buying and selling stipulations for the rest of the monetary yr will stay “difficult”.

“We predict little growth in gross sales trajectory,” the company mentioned.

M&S leader govt Steve Rowe advised the BBC that meals was once “buying and selling in the back of our expectancies”, however the store was once “reshaping” its trade with costs diminished on masses of meals pieces.

“What we’re doing is ensuring we give protection to the magic of M&S,” he mentioned.

Earnings fell 3.1% to £4.96bn, however underlying pre-tax income ticked up 2% to £223.5m.

Stocks had been down 2.5% in afternoon buying and selling in London.


Through Dominic O’Connell, These days programme trade presenter

Marks & Spencer has an organisation this is “silo-ed, gradual and hierarchical”. Now not the phrases of a hedge fund having a look to quick the stocks of one of the vital country’s favorite shops, however the verdict of the corporate’s personal leader govt, Steve Rowe.

The damning judgement is delivered within the corporate’s half-year effects. They display the similar trend of business of new years – clothes in a gradual slide, meals just a little worse than anticipated, with like-for-like gross sales down just about 3% – however are outstanding for his or her clear-eyed view of what must be completed to damage that trend.

Fewer shops – 100 will shut – a greater on-line providing, and normally a tightening-up of control and constructions that are supposed to save £350m a yr.

Some critics will say that Mr Rowe isn’t going a ways sufficient, or speedy sufficient, with some advocating a break-up of the corporate or different radical surgical operation.

There’s a clue, although, within the half-year figures as to why more potent medication has now not been followed. The common leasehold dedication that M&S has on its shops is 20 years. Going quicker in last shops or shrinking them can be extraordinarily dear.

Retail analyst Steve Cloth cabinet, director of Grocery Perception, tweeted: “You’ll’t run a trade on meal offers and 25% off wines eternally however this stuff take time to again out of.

“Closures of established shops can even have an effect on meals as it isn’t at all times the case they did not carry out – hard rentals additionally impacted.”

M&S plans to near 100 retail outlets through 2022, as introduced in Might – a transfer it says is “important” for its long term.

Mr Rowe mentioned the store was once “proceeding to check” its retailer closure programme and didn’t rule out additional closures, particularly as a 3rd of its trade can be on-line in long term.

He mentioned 32 million other folks visited M&S shops yearly, so the store had “a wide vary of shoppers”.

“What we need to do is have a wide vary of products to be had that fits all their tastes,” he added.

Beneath its plan, M&S intends to have fewer, greater clothes and homeware shops in higher places.

The store issues out that its clothes and homeware trade has “an aging buyer base, an excessively wide selection, a susceptible provide chain and and aging retailer portfolio”.

It’s going through heightened pageant from on-line shops, in addition to discounters akin to Aldi, Lidl and Primark.

Its administrators weren’t awarded bonuses this yr on account of the disappointing effects.

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