Retail boost

Reshaped M&S is big festive winner as sales soar

Sienna Miller
Actress Sienna Miller was hired to boost clothing sales at M&S

Marks & Spencer was the big festive winner with food sales up 10.5% or 9.9% on a like-for-like basis, over the Christmas period and the quarter.

Clothing and home sales increased 4.8%, with LFL sales also up 4.8% driven by growth in average selling prices, partly a result of reduced promotions year-on-year.

The increase in market share for clothing and home was led by the strong performance of womenswear, supported by improved customer perceptions of style, quality and value. Actress Sienna Miller spearheaded an advertising campaign.

Stuart Machin, chief executive said: “Our strategy to reshape M&S for growth has enabled sustained sales momentum across Food and Clothing & Home over the Christmas period. 

“In Food, we led the market on volume growth every month with a c.7% increase across the quarter, and served more customers than ever before.

“In Clothing & Home, we delivered a good performance with sales growing ahead of the market and less stock going into sale. Womenswear has been the standout, growing volume and value significantly ahead of the market.”

He added: “We enter 2024 with a spring in our step, but clear-eyed on the near-term challenges. We are determined to deliver our objective of driving 1% growth in market share in both businesses and to up the pace of our transformation.”

This will include accelerating store rotation and renewal plans; doubling down on the supply chain programmes to improve availability and lower costs; and resetting the company’s data, digital and technology strategy to unlock benefits in future years. 

Tesco upgrades

Tesco has upgraded its profit outlook for the second time in four months as it reported a better-than-expected rise in underlying UK sales for the key Christmas trading period.

The supermarket group said it now expected a year to end-February 2024 retail adjusted operating profit, its key profit figure, of £2.75 billion compared to the £2.49 billion made in 2022/23. It was previously forecasting £2.6-2.7 billion.

UK like-for-like sales rose 6.8% over the six weeks to 6 Januaryand were up 7.9% in its third quarter to November 25, having been up 8.4% in the second quarter.


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