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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.
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.


What's wrong at M&S?

by - Consumer Editor

If you want a health check on Britains retail trade -take the temperature of M&S. Things are bad, with the the worst profits for years reported today and the main problem being in clothing...especially women's.

Not since the start of the credit crunch in 2008 have things looked this grim for M&S. Yet many of it's rivals continue to report sales rises. Today the British Retail Consortium said there has been overall sales growth of 0.1% up to June.

To compound its problems, last month M&S lost its crown as the most highly valued clothing retailer, to Next. All of which suggests here is a particular problem at the chain.

Look out for our reports on ITV News as we pinpoint what is wrong.

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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