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Christmas boost fails to revive M&S clothing sales

M&S has announced a further fall to its clothing and home sales in the third quarter of 2017, as total group revenue inches down.

Clothing and home sales at M&S fell 2.8% to £1.19bn on a like for like basis for the 13 weeks to 30 December 2017, with total revenue for the quarter falling 0.1% to £3.17bn.

The fall comes despite a rise in revenue across clothing and home ”both in-store and online over the weeks leading up to Christmas”, according to chief executive Steve Rowe, and was blamed on unseasonable October weather, meaning more stock was carried into the December Sale.

Rowe added that the business had continued with its ”strategy of restoring price integrity and improving everyday value,” in the clothing and home sector.

Food sales fell 0.4% like for like, meaning total UK sales fell 1.4% like for like. International revenue fell by a total of 9.8%, which reflected the closure of stores in loss making markets. In remaining owned and franchise markets, constant currency revenue increased by 6.5%

Earlier this month it was announced that M&S has sold its Hong Kong business as part of its ongoing transformation programme.

Commenting on the results, Rowe said: “We continue with the accelerated transformation programme we outlined in November and have recently taken several important steps to reshape the business for the future. These include a new technology partnership and organisation, and the sale of our Hong Kong based business in line with the streamlined franchise-led model we are adopting for international.”

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