Blog: Leonie BarrieA mixed bag at M&S

Leonie Barrie | 22 May 2007

The good news is that Marks & Spencer’s recovery is gathering pace, with the UK’s biggest clothing retailer today posting full year profits up 28.5% to a nine-year high of GBP965.2m. Nearly back to the levels seen before it hit a trading blackspot in the late 1990s, the store group is also continuing to steal all-important market share from its competitors, particularly in children’s wear where it reported its first gain for six years. And the number of shoppers visiting M&S stores continues to rise, with 16m people a week now passing through its doors.

But there is bad news too. With a reticence – or should that be realism? – that we’ve come to expect from its CEO, Stuart Rose today warned that things are likely to get tougher this year. A challenging retail environment, tough comparatives and rising interest rates mean that M&S will be hard pushed to maintain the increases that have already led to seven straight quarters of growth. And a slower rise in same-store sales in the fourth quarter (clothing rose 4.6%, down from 7.1% growth in the third quarter) suggests this is indeed starting to happen.

M&S isn’t alone, of course, in having to face up to these challenges, and Rose identified the company as one of four UK retailers who are still increasing their share of the clothing market – the others being Tesco, Primark chain and New Look.

It is also optimistically forging ahead with store refurbishments and expansion plans in a bid to drum up more business. Internationally, M&S is looking at potential markets in Europe and the Indian sub-continent, and it has appointed Martha Lane Fox, one of the founders of Lastminute.com as a non-executive director whose experience should help increase e-commerce sales.

Strong clothing sales push M&S FY profit up 28.5%


BLOG

Digital pieces of the fashion supply chain take shape

The digital pieces of the fashion supply chain puzzle are starting to come together, according to executives at the recent Texprocess apparel technology trade show in Frankfurt, Germany....

BLOG

Latest supply chain leaders?

Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M, Zara brand owner Inditex, and sportswear giant Nike are not only among the world's leading brands, they also have some of the best supply chains too, according to a ...

BLOG

Finding a solution to the sustainability problem

The key message at this year's Copenhagen Fashion Summit was that the global apparel and textile industry needs to take a holistic view on how it tackles sustainability and responsible sourcing – with...

BLOG

Industry welcoming move to renegotiate NAFTA

The US textile industry has welcomed President Donald Trump's decision to renegotiate NAFTA, saying it is in America's national interest to modernise the trade agreement....

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?