Disappointing Quarter For M&S As Clothing And Food Sales Fall

M&S has posted another set of disappointing results with sales in both its clothing and food division falling.

Like-for-like sales in its clothing & home arm plummeted 8.9% in the 13 weeks to 2 July. The group blamed the poor weather, fewer promotions and subdued demand as consumer confidence weakened in the run up to the EU referendum.

Like-for-like sales in its food division fell 0.9%, although the group said it continued to outperform a deflationary market, with comparative sales impacted by 0.5% from the timing of Easter this year. M&S added that it continued to leverage its volume growth to reinvest in price, whilst new Simply Food stores were performing ahead of its expectations.

New Chief Executive expressed his disappointment with the results but said the firm was “confident that our strategic priorities and the actions we are taking remain the right ones to deliver results for our customers and our business”.

Commenting on the figures, Richard Lim, Chief Executive of Retail Economics, said: “The iconic British brand suffered from an unseasonably wet and cold spring which has led to one of the toughest trading periods for clothing retailers since the financial crisis. M&S’s clothing figures are painfully weak and fail to stem the loss of market share to other more agile multichannel competitors. Its tireless efforts to revive the struggling clothing business have failed to resonate with its core customer base.

“The only brighter spot for the company is the food business managed to grow market share in a tough and rapidly evolving market”.