M&S beats Christmas sales foresee in wardrobe and homewares

MS storeImage copyright

Marks and Spencer has reported a arise in wardrobe and homeware sales over a Christmas duration for a initial time in dual years.

Sales in a multiplication rose 2.3% – good above expectations for about 0.5%.

The company’s arch executive, Steve Rowe, pronounced “better ranges, softened accessibility and softened prices” had helped sales to recover.

But expansion was helped by a timing of Christmas this year, that meant there were additional selling days.

Food sales were adult by 0.6%. That compares with Tesco’s food sales expansion of 1.3%, while Sainsbury’s food sales were down slightly.

‘Super Thursday’ Christmas trade updates

‘Green shoots’

The association estimated that a timing of Christmas had combined about 1.5% to a wardrobe home sales expansion and about 0.3% to food.

But Mr Rowe warned timing would be opposite them for a subsequent trade update: “As we demeanour forward, a Q4 [fourth quarter] reported numbers will be adversely influenced by sale timing and a after Easter.”

Marks and Spencer’s wardrobe sales have been unsatisfactory for a past 5 years notwithstanding consistent efforts to spin a boat around.

MS research from Dominic O’Connell, Today Programme business correspondent

Marks Spencer has incited out to be this year’s warn Christmas package.

In a gratifying deteriorate where many of a large retailers did softened than expected, MS stood out, finally shrugging off a wardrobe sales hoodoo.

Clothing sales have been in decrease – and mostly pointy decrease – for a final 5 years, with a difference of one certain entertain dual years ago.

Over Christmas however, like-for-like sales were adult 2.3%, nonetheless a association was discerning to indicate out that 1.5% of that was down to how Christmas fell, that meant there were 5 additional trade days compared to a applicable duration a year earlier.

Even so, a 0.8% boost is not to be sneezed at, and is justification maybe that a back-to-basics reforms of arch executive Steve Rowe, that embody hundreds of pursuit waste during conduct bureau and a closure of many of a ubiquitous stores, is carrying some effect.

Analysts broadly welcomed a latest results. Bryan Roberts, tellurian discernment executive during TCC Global, told a BBC: “It competence be a pointer of some immature shoots in that partial of a business.”

The softened opening comes after a bad set of total for Christmas 2015. Then, like-for-like sales in food rose 0.5%, while turnover from a wardrobe and homeware lines plunged by 5.8% given of “unseasonal conditions and availability”.


On a same day as those total were announced, MS pronounced that arch executive Marc Bolland was stepping down and Steve Rowe – afterwards a executive of ubiquitous sell multiplication – would reinstate him.

Mr Rowe has taken action, including slicing prices for scarcely a third of a ranges and augmenting staff numbers on a emporium floors.

In September, Mr Rowe pronounced some-more than 500 comparison jobs would be cut, and, dual months later, announced skeleton in Nov to tighten around 30 UK stores and modify 45 some-more into food-only shops.

The tradesman also announced skeleton to tighten some of a abroad stores.

Rival performances

On a bustling day for sell trade updates, High Street opposition Debenhams pronounced a UK like-for-like sales were adult 1% over Christmas, with online sales adult 13.9%.

Debenhams’ categorical ranges are in a beauty and present sector, that make adult 57% of a sales. It pronounced it had confirmed marketplace share in a “competitive wardrobe market” and had also cut down on a ranges while discounting less.

Online conform tradesman ASOS reported clever sales growth, partly interjection to a high tumble in a bruise given a Brexit vote.

It is now awaiting full-year sales to be 25% to 30% aloft after ubiquitous total leapt 52% in a 4 months to a finish of December. UK sales were adult by 18%.

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