Food sales at Marks & Spencer have nosedived by almost
6% over the last three months, the struggling high
street icon revealed today.
And the day after fashion retailer ASOS reported a 104%
rise in sales, M&S also saw a dip in clothes sales of
3.5% for the period.
Like-for-like food sales slumped by 5.9% over the last
three months, M&S said, with food sales down by 0.5%
despite the opening of new stores. The group posted a
marginal rise in total sales of just 0.4%.
Among the few bright spots for the embattled retailer
were a rise in online sales of more than a third (34%)
and the growth of its international business by 24%.
Executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose warned that the
group's performance would suffer from its "investment to
improve values" but pledged to get tough on costs to
affect a turnaround, with capital expenditure set to be
slashed by up to ?200m over the next year.
?Consumer confidence remains fragile and the retail
environment unpredictable," said Rose. "Consumers are
increasingly cautious about their budgets. We have
responded by offering our customers better values and
more promotions across the business, while at the same
time tightly controlling our costs.
?In food, we are committed to giving our customers
outstanding product while implementing a range of
initiatives to improve value, innovation and
availability. Our investment to improve values along
with a more promotional stance has more than offset
improvements in bought-in margins. As a result, we are
currently expecting a reduction of around 100 basis
points in UK gross margin for the full year, although
this will depend on market conditions and our trading