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Your say: Has Marks & Spencer lost its shine?

Full-year profits at Marks & Spencer fell to £665 million, their lowest level in four years. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/

We requested your response to Marks & Spencer's fall profits on our Facebook page, asking has the once High Street favourite lost its shine?

Many of the responses suggested the retailer's pricing was deterring customers.

Clive Templar said "items are far too expensive", while Steve Smith urged the shop to "lower your prices".

It seems few of you were surprised that M&S would suffer a significant slump in clothing sales, while seeing food sales rise.

"Foods nice," Vanessa Ashton said, but added that she "can get nicer, cheaper, good fitting clothes from lots of other stores!"

Margaret Fenwick agreed that the firm had lost clothing customers to other shops, blaming "cheaper quality and inferior goods".

Louise Linter said she preferred M&S when it "sold more classic styles".

However, there was still support for the traditional retailer.

Colin Smith said he would definitely continue to shop at a "great British institution" while Simon Jobson said: "I do love the food there."


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.

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%.

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