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M&S fashion sales to fall

Marks & Spencer is expected to report a 3.3% drop in fashion sales for the full year later this week, as the retailer continues to try and turn its clothing business around.

Pre-tax profits are also expected to fall by 14% to £593m, The Sunday Times reported.

M&S’s share of the womenswear market fell 0.3 percentage points to 11.5% in the three months to 30 April, research by Kantar indicates.

Earlier this month the retailer appointed former Asda boss Archie Norman as non-executive chairman and ex-Halfords CEO Jill McDonald as the new managing director of clothing, home and beauty.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Wow. That's despite BHS closing and market share they should have gained from their demise.

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  • Yesterday's fall in pre-tax profits announced by M&S shows that while boss Steve Rowe clearly remains resolute in his belief that positive steps are being taken to build a platform for improved future retail performance, doubts still exist as to whether this is a retailer that is ultimately too big and complex a beast to unravel and rebuild.

    Despite recent high-profile appointments in Archie Norman and Jill McDonald, and a commitment to closing underperforming stores, investing in food, focusing on bigger store footprints and an improved shopper experience, a 64% drop in full year profits reinforces the fact that achieving transformation instore is easier said than done.

    M&S is clearly a behemoth of a retailer. It is also is a prime example of how seemingly never-ending internal restructuring, a lack of responsiveness to identify and embed changes required, and an apparent lack of autonomy internally to act decisively and take the important decisions that have the ability to positively effect change, can negatively impact a retailer’s ability to deliver transformation at the speed with which modern retail now demands. Shoppers, the M&S Board, and institutional investors will surely be hoping that real and visible signs of the promised changes will begin to appear instore, and soon.

    Karl McKeever, managing director and founder of Visual Thinking.

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