M&S shows how rough the ride ahead will be

The turnover prediction downgrade from £2.5 billion to £1.7 billion is significant. Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Do not make the mistake of seeing M&S first drop in profits for three years as significant.

The drop is due to "one-offs" such as property investments and pension costs, not the store's performance.

The real story is the revenue prediction u-turn.

Expectations have been downgraded from £2.5 billion to £1.7 billion. This reflects the bashing this company thinks consumers will be taking. As the wider economy continues to flounder, consumer confidence and spending will be squeezed.

When I first heard the result this morning I thought it sounded bad for M&S and its investors.

But the truth is worse: it's bad for us all.

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