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Marks and Spencer sales take a hit over Christmas

The all-important festive season yield disappointing results for Marks and Spencer at the end of 2017 as sales fell 1.4% during the period.

Like-for-like revenues fell 1.4% in the 13 weeks to 30 December, with clothing and homeware down 2.8% and food down by 0.4%.

Steve Rowe, chief executive said: “M&S had a mixed quarter with better Christmas trading in both businesses going some way to offset a weak clothing market in October and ongoing under-performance in our food like-for-like sales.”

In a trading statement the high street stalwart said “ongoing trading pressures” in the lead up to Christmas were reflected in its poor food sales, and cited consumer spending and choices dictated by “tighter budgets”.

Rowe added: “We continue with the accelerated transformation programme we outlined in November and have recently taken several important steps to reshape the business for the future.

“These include a new technology partnership and organisation, and the sale of our Hong Kong based business in line with the streamlined franchise-led model we are adopting for international.”

Full year results will be published on 23 May 2018.

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