Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

M&S stock issues a ‘red herring’

The stock shortages cited by Marks & Spencer in its fourth quarter results as a reason for a dip in general merchandise sales are a “red herring”, according to industry sources.

Chief executive Marc Bolland admitted this week that M&S had not bought deeply enough into women’s knitwear and outerwear, which contributed to a 2.8% dip in like-for-like general merchandise sales for the 13 weeks to March 31.

One industry commentator said he believed the retailer’s focus on stock shortages was a “red herring” designed to detract from the fact that M&S “hasn’t got it quite right on womenswear”.

Rival retailers added that not buying deep enough into best-selling lines is a common problem. “It is better to back the right product and sell out than back the wrong product and not sell it,” said one.

Bolland said the retailer sold 100,000 items of M&S Woman knitwear during February but could have shifted 300,000 if it had enough stock.

Group sales rose 0.8% in the quarter. Total UK sales climbed 1.2% led by food, while clothing sales fell 0.3%.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.