It remains Britain's biggest clothing retailer and saw £10 billion in turnover and group sales rise in tough times. So what is wrong at M&S?
M&S has reported disappointing financial results. UK non-food sales are down almost 7% and the biggest problems are in clothing.
The glamorous grans remain the key battleground for Marks and Spencer
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 suffered its worst non-food sales for more than three years.
The retailer, which has more than 700 stores in the UK, blamed stock problems for a 6.8% decline in clothing and general merchandise sales in the 13 weeks to June 30 - its worst performance since the quarter to December 2008.
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%.
– Marc Bolland, Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer
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.
Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland will come under pressure today from frustrated shareholders over "excessive" pay and disappointing sales figures.
Despite efforts to pull in customers with celebrity-laden adverts, featuring the likes of actresses Joanna Lumley and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and popstar Gary Barlow, the group is expected to reveal its worst quarterly trading performance in three years.
Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland slashed sales targets for the next year as he announced the first fall in profits for three years.
- In November 2010, the group set a target to grow revenues between £1.5 billion and £2.5 billion over three years
- This has been cut to £1.1 billion and £1.7 billion
- The company will invest £200 million less in UK stores over the next two years
Marks and Spencer Chief Executive said the retail giant had performed well in the tough economic conditions of the last year.
Marks & Spencer performed well in a challenging economic environment, growing group sales by 2% and holding market share. [...]
We managed the business prudently with tight control of costs and capital investment, delivering earnings in line with last year, and substantial efficiency savings in our capital investment plans.
He outlined plans for further expansion internationally, and online.
– Marks and Spencer Chief Executive Marc Bolland
Whilst the economic environment has deteriorated since we first set out our strategic plans, we have made significant progress.
Our UK pilot stores are delivering good results, which has given us the confidence to launch phase two of the programme.[...]By the end of this year we will be transacting from 10 websites worldwide and opening around 100 international stores per year.