Marks & Spencer in five-year clothing struggle
Marks and Spencer's clothing business has come under increased scruitiny in recent months. However, looking through just-style's archives it becomes clear that its performance has been patchy for quite some time. Petah Marian looks at M&S's major milestones over the past five years.
- 10 July 2007: Marks & Spencer posted "better than expected" first-quarter sales, but said the short-term trading environment is likely to remain "very challenging". General merchandise sales rose 2.9% on a like-for-like basis as overall sales increased 3.5%.
- 6 November 2007: First-half operating profit rose 9.1% as clothing revenue increased 3.1%. The retailer said that in general merchandise, better styling, more choice and lower prices helped sales volumes grow by 9%. The company announced it was seeking a franchise partner in India and a wholly-owned presence in China.
- 9 January 2008: Third-quarter revenues fell 2.2% amid poor clothing sales. The results were its worst quarterly results in two years. It said general merchandise sales were down 3.2% on a like-for-like basis.
- 15 January 2008: M&S launches a clothing recyling programme in partnership with Oxfam, where customers who donate clothes to Oxfam get a GBP5 voucher to spend in-store.
- 20 March 2008: Announced plans to spend at least EUR13.6m with retail partner COMS to expand in Central and Eastern Europe.
- 20 May 2008: Marks & Spencer breaks the GBP1bn full-year profit barrier for the first time in more than a decade. Annual clothing revenues rose 0.8%, but lagged by 1.3% in the second half of the year.
- 2 July 2008: A surprise profit warning was issued after weakening consumer confidence and slumping sales. Like-for-like sales of general merchandise were down 6.2% over the first quarter.
- 2 October 2008: M&S announces plans to cut capital spending by up to GBP200m after second-quarter like-for-like sales declined 6.1%. General merchandise revenue fell 2.9%, with clothing sales falling 3.5% over the quarter.
- 4 November 2008: First half profit plunges 34% as the weakening economy continues to erode consumer confidence. General merchandise revenue fell 6.2% over the half.
- 26 January 2009: M&S launches the Portfolio sub-brand to target women in the mid-forties and over age group.
- 15 October 2009: Kate Bostock, executive director of clothing hails the launch of the Indigo brand and emphasises M&S's value proposition: "Our core customer doesn't want the lowest price - they want value which is price times quality," she said.
- 19 November 2009: Morrisons CEO Marc Bolland is named as chief executive, replacing Sir Stuart Rose. The move was welcomed by the financial markets, with M&S' share price rising 6% on the announcement.
- 6 January 2010: Clothing posted a 4% increase in third-quarter sales as group sales rose 2.6% over the period. The company said knitwear, sleepwear and footwear sales were particularly strong.
- 7 July 2010: The retailer reports a 7.4% increase in clothing sales over Marc Bolland's first quarter as chief executive. Women's wear, lingerie, men's wear and children's wear all contributed to growth in the clothing channel.
- 9 November 2010: Marc Bolland announces plans to axe the Portfolio sub-brand, while revealing a new strategy to turn the sub-brands into real brands. He said the company wanted to improve its core clothing ranges "so that the unique quality, style and fashion of the M&S brand stand out".
- 6 April 2011: M&S posts a 2.3% increase in group sales over the fourth-quarter, while general merchandise sales fell 3.4%, down 3.9% on a like-for-like basis.
- 13 July 2011: The retailer says it continues to build market share in the UK clothing sector, despite recording flat like-for-like sales. General merchandise revenue increased 0.3% over the quarter.
- 8 November 2011: First-half profit fell on the back of the "challenging economic environment". General merchandise sales were down 0.8% and slipped 1.3% on a like-for-like basis. The retailer also launched its first fast-fashion line under the M&S Woman brand.
- 10 January 2012: The retailer reports women's wear sales fell during the third quarter. Bolland described women's wear as the "heart of competition" on the high street, where everyone is competing on price.
- 17 April 2012: The retailer revealed a decline in fourth-quarter clothing sales as it admitted to running short of stock in a number of its best-selling women's wear lines.
- 22 May 2012: The first fall in full-year profits in three years prompted the retailer to say it is taking steps to improve its buying and merchandising after a mixed performance in its clothing lines. Steps included bolstering its design teams as well as ramping up the amount of clothing it sources on a fast-fashion basis.
- 10 July 2012: Marks & Spencer announces general merchandise executive director Kate Bostock will leave the company by "mutual consent" as first-quarter general merchandise sales slumped.
Among the industry executives who spoke with just-style this year were Ranjan Mahtani, CEO of Epic Group; Henry Tan, CEO of Luen Thai Holdings; Andrew Lo, CEO of Crystal Group; and Marks & Spencer's K...
Among the most-read analysis articles on just-style in 2012 were stories relating to the clothing industry in Burma, the importance of speed to market, and the future of the UK apparel manufacturing i...
While Marks & Spencer posted an almost 10% decline in pre-tax profit over the first half of its financial year, an uplift in general merchandise sales in the second quarter suggests efforts to improve...
South Korean baby and children's wear retailer Suhyang Networks has been acquired by privately held Fung Retailing....
Tory Burch has revealed that two investment firms will acquire minority stakes in the luxury clothing company, settling a legal dispute between the founder and her former husband Christopher Burch. ...
- Slow fashion: a fast-growing opportunity?
- Rethink needed as low-cost labour options dwindle
- African apparel sector needs cooperation to thrive
- US retailers to face logistics issues into 2015
- New wage ladder lifts workers towards living wages
- Gap unveils management changes as Q3 profit rises
- Long-running SL Garment dispute settled
- Tazreen Fashions compensation agreement outlined
- Bangladesh worker dies as factory boiler ruptures
- Puma commits to 100% PFC removal