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
Marks & Spencer sales grew by 1.3% in a "challenging market" in the year to March 2013, the company announced.
But like-for-like UK sales fell by 1%, with general merchandise down 4.1%.
Their food division did better, improving by 1.7%.
Jasmine Birtles, a financial expert, spoke to ITV Daybreak about the Marks and Spencer clothing sales slump which was announced yesterday.
She said Marks and Spencer have been designing for a woman that "ceases to exist" for a number of years.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.