M&S continues to report declining clothing sales

For the 13 weeks to December 28, 2019, Marks and Spencer plc (M&S) reported group revenues of 3,018 million pounds (3,953 million dollars), down 0.7 percent with clothing & home revenues of 1,063 million pounds (1,392.3 million dollars), down 3.7 percent. International revenues of 251 million pounds (328.7 million dollars) were also down 2.3 percent. The company said in a statement that UK like-for-like revenue rose slightly, driven by improved quarter in both main businesses.

Commenting on the third quarter update, Steve Rowe, the company’s Chief Executive, said: “We delivered an improved performance in Q3 across both main businesses. Clothing and home had a strong start to the quarter, albeit it was followed by a challenging trading environment in the lead up to Christmas. As we drive a faster pace of change, disappointing one-off issues - notably the shape of buy in menswear and performance in our gifting categories - held us back from delivering a stronger result. However, the changes we made earlier in the year in clothing have arrested the worst of the issues of the first six months and we are progressively building a much stronger team for the future.”

The company added that clothing & home improved run rate from H1 reflecting strong initial customer reception of autumn ranges with signs of continuing recovery in core womenswear, offset by underperformance in menswear and gifting. Decisive actions to drive trade in-season including improved availability, a reduction in options and improving value helped reduce the value of stock into sale by 12 percent. M&S further said that its full year guidance remains unchanged, although gross margins expected to be around lower end of guidance, largely offset by cost reduction programme.

The company further said that clothing & home UK online revenue was up 1.5 percent, which was lower than expected, adversely impacted by competitor discounting in December and lower furniture dispatches at the start of the quarter.

Picture:M&S media gallery


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