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M&S reveal bigger than expected slump over Christmas

Bigger than expected sales slump for Mars and Spencer Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Marks and Spencer have revealed a bigger than expected sales slump in clothes over Christmas.

It comes just a day after high street retailer Jessops announced 2,000 jobs are at risk after going into administration.

In contrast, retail giants John Lewis and Next reported strong sales growth over the Christmas period.

The M&S group said that it was cautious about the year ahead, with continued pressure on consumers' disposable incomes.

M&S boss: Clothing results 'not satisfactory'

Marc Bolland, Marks & Spencer chief executive, said the company's clothing results were "not yet satisfactory":

Our Food business has performed very well with record sales over the key Christmas trading period.

Our General Merchandise performance is not yet satisfactory but we are confident that the steps being taken by the new management team will address this.

Our plan is to transform Marks & Spencer from a traditional UK retailer to an international multi-channel retailer. We are making good progress against this plan.

Marks & Spencer like for like Christmas sales down 1.8%

Marks & Spencer has reported a 1.8% drop in like for like UK sales, despite record food sales over Christmas.

Like for like sales, which excludes new store openings, for the 13 weeks leading up to December 29 were as follows:

  • UK sales: fell by 1.8%
  • Food: rose by 0.3%
  • General Merchandise: fell by 3.8%

Total UK sales, which includes new store openings, for the 13 weeks leading up to December 29 were:

  • UK sales: rose by 0.3%
  • Food: rose by 2.7%
  • General Merchandise: fell by 2.2%

Marks & Spencer to open 28 more bank branches

Marks & Spencer today announced plans to open 28 bank branches by the end of the year, as its first current accounts went live.

The retail giant, which has so far opened 13 bank branches out of the 16 locations which have already been confirmed, unveiled a further list of 12 branches planned by the end of 2012.

Retailor Marks & Spencer have unveiled plans to open further bank branches. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

They will open in London Colney, Hertfordshire; Braehead, Renfrewshire; Oxford; Merry Hill, Dudley; Milton Keynes; Cheshire Oaks, Cheshire; Camberley, Surrey; Norwich; White City, London; Exeter; Shoreham, Kent; and Lisburn, Belfast.

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M&S womenswear sales hit

With womenswear hit by high levels of promotions and the wet weather hitting sales of casual tops, non-food boss Kate Bostock will step down as the firm parachutes in former Debenhams chief Belinda Earl as style director to hone its range.

Despite high profile adverts featuring celebrities such as Gary Barlow, overall UK like-for-like sales fell 2.8% - also the worst performance for M&S for more than three years - even though food sales rose 0.6%.

Marks & Spencer admit 'difficult trading season'

Marks & Spencer suffered a 0.7% fall in group sales figures in the 13 weeks to June 30. Like-for-like UK sales fell 2.8%, with general merchandise dropping 6.8%. Multi-channel sales (including the mobile website) were up 14.9%.

Our food business has again performed strongly. General merchandise underperformedin a difficult trading season. We are confident we are taking the necessarysteps to address this.

Weare pleased with the performance in multi-channel and our key internationalbusinesses, which are continuing to make good progress.

– Marc Bolland, Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer
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