M&S sees strong festive sales

Marks and Spencer (M&S) has announced that group sales jumped by 7.2 per cent over the festive season compared to last year as customers spent over £3.8 billion in the run up to Christmas.

Sales of food rose the most over the quarter, increasing by 10.5 per cent to £2.3 billion while like for like sales increased by 9.9 per cent. Sales of its ‘Remarksable’ value range grew by around 18 per cent.

M&S attributed the hike in sales to improvements in the supply chain which helped to drive better availability.

Elsewhere, clothing and home sales increased by 4.8 per cent, driven by an increased market share and reduced promotions.

Store sales in this category grew by two per cent, with online sales jumping 10.9 per cent.

The company said that knitwear, denim and its Autograph line performed particularly well.

While its UK business performed well, M&S said that international sales were down by 6.4 per cent due to challenging market conditions in India and planned timing of franchise shipments in the Middle East and Asia. The retailer said it is working with franchise partners to improve performance.

The company added that economic growth remains uncertain due to consumer and geopolitical risks. The retailer also said that it faces increased wage and business-related costs but it is confident that it will meet its expectations in the coming financial year.

Stuart Machin, chief executive at M&S said that the company was entering 2024 “with a spring in [its] step” but remained aware of the challenges.

“Our strategy to reshape M&S for growth has enabled sustained sales momentum across food and clothing and home over the Christmas period,” Machin said. “We are determined to deliver our objective of driving one per cent growth in market share in both businesses and to up the pace of our transformation: keeping a relentless focus on trusted value; accelerating our store rotation and renewal plans; doubling down on our supply chain programmes to improve availability and lower costs; and resetting our data, digital and technology strategy to unlock benefits in future years.”



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