Marks & Spencer Sees Food Sales Rise 3.7% In Q4
Marks & Spencer saw its food sales grow by 3.7% in Q4 (+0.7% like-for-like), according to its quarterly results to 28 March 2015, released this morning. M&S' general merchandise sales rose 1.3% in the quarter (+0.7% LFL).
Commenting on the retailer's performance, Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, said, “We have made strong progress over the quarter. In Food we delivered another excellent performance, with sales growth ahead of the market.
"We continued to deliver on General Merchandise gross margin, and are pleased that we have achieved this whilst also improving General Merchandise sales. M&S.com has returned to growth, as planned, with further improvement in customer metrics.”
In response to the figures, Stephen Springham, Chief Knowledge Officer, Planet Retail, said that “a return to like-for-like growth in the core clothing category would ordinarily have the champagne corks popping at M&S. But the fact that this has been achieved against such weak comparables (the corresponding period last year coincided with the botched relaunch of the website) means the fizz quickly goes flat.
"An improving trend, yes, but still underperformance in a UK clothing market that showed as much as 4-5% growth over the period. On the right track maybe, but still losing market share."
Also commenting, Anusha Couttigane, Senior Consultant at Conlumino, said, "Over the quarter, M&S saw its first glimmer of growth in clothing in almost four years, with sales rising 1.2% year-on-year. It also took big steps toward rebuilding its fashion credentials, launching its Spring/Summer range to a warm reception.
"Having suffered from higher levels of stock going into Christmas, due to an unseasonably mild Winter, promotional sales in the subsequent period have been scaled back and the focus on full-priced lines reinforced."
© 2015 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones