Table of Contents
- Poor clothing sales see M&S’s profits slide
- ‘Too slow’
- M&S Is Particularly Good At The Moment – These Are The 11 Pieces On Our Wishlist
- SHOP: M&S Winter Shopping Picks
- Spencer’s Black Friday Sale is Live!
- Does Marks and Spencer do Black Friday?
- What should I look out for in M&S sale?
- How much will my M&S delivery cost?
- The Fix
- M&S shakes up kidswear in effort to grow sales
- UK fashion and homeware retailer Marks & Spencer is shaking up its kidswear range as part of efforts to broaden its apparel and grow its share of the childrenswear market.
- M&S sales squeezed as men shun skinny trousers
- Too much food
- ‘One-off issues’
Marks & Spencer has reported a fresh slump in clothing sales as poor levels of availability in its stores were compounded by an out-of-date supply chain.
The chief executive, Steve Rowe, blamed the 5.5% decline in like-for-like clothing sales on buying errors that meant popular sizes sold out too quickly. A new design team was shedding its womenswear’s reputation for “frumpiness”, it said, but progress was undermined by the 135-year-old company’s slow and complicated logistics, which meant it could not move products around the country fast enough. This setup contributed to a dire performance from its website, where sales were flat.
Rowe conceded the numbers for the first half of its financial year were “not pretty”. “Clothing is not where I wanted it to be,” he said. “We are about 18 months behind and racing to make up lost time. My No 1 priority is to get under the bonnet of the clothing business.”
He pointed to the stronger performance delivered by M&S’s food halls, where the results of its “transformation” programme were “beginning to show”. The food business returned to growth over the period, with like-for-like sales up 0.9% in the six months to 28 September, thanks to a programme of price cuts and new ranges.
Following almost two decades of attempts to revive the high street giant, Rowe and the retail veteran Archie Norman, who joined as chairman in 2017, are the latest management team to try to reinvent the retailer, which recently lost its place in the prestigious FTSE 100. Like Mothercare, which on Tuesday said it was closing down its loss-making UK chain, M&S is facing an existential crisis as it struggles to compete with cheaper rivals such as Primark and the rise of online shopping.
Jill McDonald was ousted as M&S clothing boss in the summer after buying mistakes ahead of a jeans promotion left it with empty rails for a month. While maintaining its crown as the UK’s largest clothing retailer, sales at the high street chain have now been falling for about eight years.
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Richard Lim, chief executive of consultancy firm Retail Economics, said M&S’s clothing ranges were “confused” and had been missing the mark season after season: “The race is on to fix its broken business model,” he said. “The sector is evolving at an unprecedented pace and some of the deep-rooted challenges in the business are proving extremely challenging to resolve.”
As part of its fightback plan, M&S is closing 120 full-line stores, which sell clothing and food under one roof. It has struck a deal with Ocado, which will result in the online grocer carrying products from M&S rather than Waitrose from next year.
The contrasting fortunes of the food and clothing divisions have led to speculation that M&S could break up. However, Norman – who made his name with the turnaround of Asda in the 1990s before selling it to Walmart – pointed out that most of the profit in both businesses was made in combined stores. “There are very strong sinews that join the businesses together that make the idea of taking the division too far today completely impractical,” he said.
In a bid to revitalise its clothing business, M&S will cull the size of its range to focus the chain’s massive buying power on a smaller number of potential blockbuster items. It is also changing the fit of its products in an attempt to attract younger customers. In menswear, for example, where shoppers complained that the clothes were “too old”, it has started to stock more slim and skinny-fit trousers.
The shares, which have lost a third of their value over the past year, finished flat at 182p on the update, which showed a 17% decline in pre-tax profits (before one-off items) to £176.5m on sales of £4.9bn. “There’s a lot to do, but I’d like to think that yes, we’ve seen a low point and the start of something different,” said Rowe, when asked if M&S had reached its nadir.
The company also pointed to a recent spike in fashion sales, with full-price and planned promotional sales up 2.7% in October on a year ago. “One swallow does not a summer make – I’ve certainly been here before – but I am encouraged by the reaction we have had,” said Rowe. He said that M&S was seeing dramatic sales uplifts when it managed to get the price, style and availability right – giving the example of jeans, where sales were up 34% in October compared with last year.
Poor clothing sales see M&S’s profits slide
Image copyright Getty Images
Marks and Spencer profits dropped in the first half of its financial year following a sharp fall in demand for its clothes and home goods.
The High Street retailer said that while its food business was “outperforming the market”, there had been issues in clothing and home.
Marks and Spencer is undergoing a transformation plan led by chief executive Steve Rowe.
He said after a “challenging” first half, it is now seeing improvements.
Overall, pre-tax profits tumbled by 17% to £176.5m on total sales down 2.1% to £4.86bn.
Like-for-like sales in clothing and home fell by 5.5% during the six months to 30 September, worse than an expected 4.3% drop.
In Wednesday’s FTSE 250 trading, the company’s shares fell 0.2% to 182 pence.
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M&S said there had been “availability challenges” as a result of “supply chain issues and a shape of buy that remained too broad”.
The company is facing competition from fashion giants such as Primark on the High Street and Asos on the internet.
It said its clothing business “has historically been too slow to market” and had “too many slow-moving lines”.
M&S also said it was going to ensure that they had enough product in all sizes, and would be quicker to restock popular and fast-selling items in stores.
In addition it said it would look to introduce slimmer cuts in clothing designs, which would be increasingly aimed at a “family market”.
M&S said it was seeing a positive response to its current winter season clothing, which it says is a “better value product”.
But retail expert Richard Hyman told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “I think Marks and Spencer customers are not interested in price, as much as relevance. Making clothes cheaper is not the answer.
“When they talk about this season’s offering, they are talking about a matter of weeks. The general outlook for Christmas trading is not looking very good across the trade.”
In contrast, like-for-like sales in food grew by 0.9%, ahead of a forecast 0.3% rise.
To stem the decline in food, M&S forged a joint venture with Ocado in February, agreeing to buy 50% of its retail business for £750m.
Image copyright Newscast Image caption M&S has signed a food delivery partnership with Ocado
But Mr Hyman said: “I can’t see the central logic of the Ocado deal. I don’t think they have to be online in food at all. Online in the UK is 7% of the market, suggesting people are not clamouring to buy food online.”
And Neil Wilson, chief analyst at markets.com said that overall, change had been far too slow at the company.
But M&S boss Mr Rowe said the firm was now starting to see the benefits of its transformation plan. “For the first time we are beginning to see the potential from the far reaching changes we are making,” he said.
However, while it forecast some improvement in trading in the second half of the year, market conditions remain challenging.
In September, M&S was relegated from the FTSE 100 index of Britain’s biggest listed companies.
It marked the first time the retailer had not been a FTSE 100 member since the index was launched in 1984.
M&S Is Particularly Good At The Moment – These Are The 11 Pieces On Our Wishlist
M&S, Marks and Spencer’s, Marks & Sparks, whatever you call it, this British high street store is a treasure trove of gems – just ask our Duchesses. Both Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and her sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex have fallen for the shop’s charms, which puts us in good company.
We say we’re visiting M&S for the food and M&S bank, but the reality is clearly apparent if you’ve been paying attention to our wardrobe. Hidden amongst our Percy Pig hoard is a haul of new M&S dresses, bags and shoes. It’s deeply satisfying to discover M&S’ affordable cashmere, bikinis and bras while hunting out the must-have items, like that star print dress or that unforgettable pink coat. But, what’s more, satisfying is proudly telling friends where you get it. They say ‘is that Ganni?’ or ’that must be ALEXA CHUNG’ while you smugly reply, ‘oh this old M&S thing, found it in the sale’.
Enough of the ode, what are we buying right now? See our favourite 11 pieces in the gallery below…
SHOP: M&S Winter Shopping Picks
1 of 11 2 of 11 3 of 11 4 of 11 5 of 11 6 of 11 7 of 11 8 of 11 9 of 11 10 of 11 11 of 11
Table of Contents
Spencer’s Black Friday Sale is Live!
Last updated on Wednesday November 27, 2019: Spencer’s is back again with a blowout Black Friday sale!
Starting now and only at spencersonline.com, find BOGO deals across the store, various doorbusters like 25% off must-have ugly Xmas sweaters, free shipping, and more. You can take a look at the highlights posted below. And don’t forget to use promo code BFSHIP30 to get free shipping on orders of $30 of more. Happy bargain hunting!
We’re including a full list of Spencers’ current offers and coupons below. It’s always wise to double check what other promotions are now live before heading out to shop. Good luck!
What’s on your holiday shopping list? Already know what you’ll be getting at Spencer’s Gifts? Then let us know in the comments section (the comments section is located at the very bottom of this page).
Updated on Friday November 23, 2018: Spencer’s Black Friday sale is officially here — Not only can you pick up on the the many 1-day only deals (see the ad below for a look at the highlights) but also free shipping on orders over $30 or more with promo code BFGET30E. Sale runs through November 24, 2018 at 11:59 PM Pacific.
Updated on November 22, 2017: Just 24 hours left until Thanksgiving weekend begins… although my mind is already checked out and on holiday break. So what better way to pass the time than doing a little bit of bargain hunting, right? With Spencer’s Black Friday sale now officially live, here your chance to score some deals before and burn a little bit of time.
It seems like this year Spencer’s Gifts is all about BOGO. You’ve got buy-one get one for $5 on all tees, buy-one get-one free on all jewelry, buy-one get-one 50% off drinkware and hats, and buy-one get-one for $1 on all mugs. They’ve also got $10 baseball caps, $15 slippers, 25% off all ugly Christmas sweaters, and $10 glass shot-glass sets. On top of the deals you’ll also get free economy shipping with a minimum purchase of $30 with promo code ESHIP30 (United States only).
We’ve posted Spencer’s ad below with some of the sale highlights and offer terms. Prices valid through November 25th at 11:59 PM Pacific or while supplies last. Have a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend!
MARKS & Spencer are remaining tight-lipped about Black Friday, and have yet to confirm whether they’re taking part this year, but we’ve got everything crossed there’s a mega M&S sale coming our way.
Last year there wasn’t an official M&S Black Friday or Cyber Weekend sale, but they did have a massive clearance sale in store and online including furniture, beauty items, clothing and more.
2 Marks & Spencer’s AW18 collection is very popular amongst fashion editors and influencers
- Shop the Marks & Spencer winter sale here
Does Marks and Spencer do Black Friday?
Marks and Spencer didn’t take part in Black Friday, but they did have a big sale around the same time.
Marks & Spencer’s has scored hit after hit in the style stakes, so Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a great time to pick up a discounted winter coat, that must-have party dress and more.
In the lead up to Christmas, the store is a key destination for clothes, gifts, homeware, furniture, winter essentials and, of course, food (they do the best luxury hampers!), so it is worth checking out any live M&S sales, as there are plenty of bargains to be had:
- 2 for £60 on Mens Merino and Lambswool Jumpers on selected styles – buy here
- Up to 50 per cent off furniture – buy here
- 2 for £30 Mens Oxford Shirts – buy here
- Up to 50 per cent off Homeware – buy here
- 25 per cent off when you buy two wine cases online – buy here
- Get four for three on selected party food – buy here
What should I look out for in M&S sale?
2 Make big savings in Marks and Spencer’s big winter saleCredit: PA:Press Association
- Womenswear – we don’t mean to go on about it, but M&S has really upped the style stakes this season and there’s no better department so splurge in.
- Footwear – Marks and Spencer’s footwear offering is really on-trend and youthful this season, but you can still find comfortable classics for yourself and the kids.
- Outerwear – if you have your eye on one of the retailer’s cashmere coats (they really are to die for this year) or a puffer for your kids, hold out until November when they will be considerably cheaper.
- Menswear – invest in workwear essentials like smart trousers and shirts while they’re at their cheapest.
- knitwear – a pillar of the great British high street for a reason, since 1884 men and women have looked to Marks and Spencer to invest in the good old knitwear staples like cashmere rollneck jumpers and Merino wool sweaters that will last for years.
- Nightwear and lingerie – women’s lingerie from own-brands like Rosie by Autograph should be at an all time low in price, but its also a good time to stock up on basics like socks, mens underpants and the retailer’s quality pyjamas for the whole family.
- Homewares – getting your house ready for Christmas? Buy rugs, throws, cushions, table settings, crockery or refresh your decor – now is the best time to splash out on a new sofa or bed.
- Kidswear – M&S have a huge range that starts from baby sizes all the way up to age 16 – they even have some ‘mini me’ items so that you can twin with your little ones.
- Beauty – the retailer stocks key beauty brands including Bumble & Bumble and Nuxe that are hard to find elsewhere – look out for half-price gift sets that would make perfect Christmas presents.
How much will my M&S delivery cost?
It’s free to order online and collect your shopping from your nearest store, and generally orders placed before 8pm can be collected the following day.
Standard delivery costs £3.50 ( it is free on orders over £50) and will take 3-5 working days.
Next and nominated day delivery will cost only 49p more at £3.99.
Find our ‘Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals’ pages below
Looking to snap up a Black Friday and Cyber Mondau bargain? Here’s where you can find the best deals.
- Fashion and footwear
- Food and alcohol
- Home and garden
Enjoyed hearing about Marks and Spencer’s Black Friday deals? If you’re looking for other Black Friday offers, check out our Black Friday info page.
There’ll you’ll be able to find the key areas likely to feature in the event, and crucial information about shopping during the Black Friday period.
Looking for fashion inspiration? Check out Sun Selects Fashion to see what items you should be checking out this Black Friday.
Marks and Spencer have launched their Summer Beauty Box that’s worth £110
This article and any featured products have been independently chosen by The Sun journalists. All recommendations within the article are informed by expert editorial opinion. If you click a link and buy a product we may earn revenue: this helps to support The Sun, and in no way affects our recommendations.
Take a look at The Sun Vouchers, to see if you can get extra savings – be that discounts and vouchers for Marks & Spencer or hundreds of other retailers.
Some items are selling for as little as £1 (Picture: Getty)
Marks and Spencer has finally launched its much-loved 90% off clearance sale and people can’t get enough of the deals.
The sale includes some items that are priced at just £1, and shoppers are sharing their receipts to show off the amazing savings that they’ve made.
The excitement was started after one shopper posted a receipt of their bargains on money-saving website Hotukdeals.com.
‘90% off M&S starting tomorrow,’ they wrote underneath the uploaded image of their receipt.
‘Just popped in M&S tonight and they were reducing the sale stuff to 90%. Got 2x Star Wars onesies for £2.89 each an Olaf onesie for £2.69 and boys hoodie for £1.59’
For extra clarification, an admin at HotUkDeals added under the original post: ‘FYI, stock will be limited and vary from store to store – 100% worth going within the first 24-48 hours to get the best picks on stock.’
So, if you want to get your hands on one of these rare deals, you had better be quick.
Now, other bargain hunters have started sharing details about the bargain’s they’ve found on the money-saving site.
Shoppers have also been sharing their bargain stories on the money-saving blog.
‘I went in on my way to work this morning and wasn’t expecting much. But very pleased – have managed to get a few jumpers for me, sis and mum,’ said one.
‘A jumpsuit, dress and trousers, ooooh and PJs.’
Another added: ‘Yes I popped in at 17.50 and went on a desperate dash for onesies for my kids as my boiler has broken, and they’d reduced them to 90% for me and other people buying sale stuff.’
The 90% off sale is only available in physical stores, so you’ll be out of luck if you start hunting online. So it’s definitely time to head to the high street.
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M&S shakes up kidswear in effort to grow sales
M&S says it will move away from formalwear and offer more colourful, casual options
The company – which claims to be the nation’s biggest clothing retailer – is reducing its reliance on formalwear such as party dresses and suits and will instead focus on “colourful and casual clothing.”
It is also removing the Autograph sub-brand from kidswear in response to declining sales over the past few years.
It will instead offer a wider range of casualwear products such as tees, sweatshirts and leggings “backed with bigger buys.” M&S kids’ leggings sales have increased 20-fold, it says, with the retailer now selling 25,000 pairs a month.
In another change, 3-for-2 deals will be available all year, meaning a customer can purchase three GBP6 (US$7.8) cotton dresses for just GBP12 (GBP4 each). M&S has also increased items in the offer from 60 to nearly 200 – products start from as little as GBP2.50 for cotton leggings with stretch. The cotton items that are in the 3-for-2 deal are all made from 100% more sustainably-sourced cotton.
The range will feature new age breaks to offer a more tailored product for younger and older children. The categories will now be split into baby (0-3 years), younger kids (2-7 years) and older kids (6-16 years).
M&S says the move to become “a little less special occasion and more everyday style” is part of its plan to broaden its appeal to busy family customers and grow market share in kidswear.
“M&S Kids is changing to broaden its appeal to more family shoppers,” says Jill Stanton, M&S director of kidswear. “We know we have parents shopping schoolwear, with 1 in 4 kids wearing an M&S uniform, but our wider kids offer has been a bit too formal and not for everyday fun. Our new range is about being more playful – with fantastic fun prints, vibrant colours and the hard-wearing features that make them fit for play time and fit to last.”
M&S has struggled in recent months to grow sales in its clothing and home business and CEO Steve Rowe has been vocal about needing to move faster to address “long-standing issues” in its clothing supply chain around the availability and flow of product.
It has been trying to reinvent itself for more than a decade, with the current five-year “restoring the basics” turnaround plan seeing more than 100 store closures by 2022, and a focus on better planning and stock visibility, removing outdated product lines, improving logistics, and upgrading its online visibility. Critics have blamed an overload of brands for making its offer too confusing and say it no longer resonates with the core customer base.
Earlier this month the retailer revealed sales plunged in its third quarter.
Last year it announced a similar reshaping of its two sub-brands – Per Una and Autograph – aimed at focusing on where it can offer a point of difference for its customers.
Clive Black, analyst at Shore Capital comments on the latest move: “The extensive array of change outlined above does appear to represent new and better thinking about Kidswear by M&S, consistent with the key transformation aim to be more relevant to the younger shopper and consumer. As such we are encouraged to see the activity, representing as it does, another line crossed out in the extensive M&S to do list being addressed.
“That all said, the proof of the pudding remains in the eating and only effective seasons and in-store execution on an ongoing basis will tell if M&S does indeed build its UK childrenswear market share and maybe also contribute to a better ongoing Clothing sales performance.”
M&S sales squeezed as men shun skinny trousers
Image copyright Getty Images
M&S said it overestimated demand for tight-fitting men’s clothing in the run-up to Christmas.
As a result, the High Street retailer said it had ordered more “regular” and “relaxed-fit” clothing for spring.
M&S boss, Steve Rowe, said “disappointing” issues, such as the surplus of skinny menswear, held the firm back from a stronger performance over Christmas.
Weak sales in clothing and homeware were offset by higher food sales.
Too much food
However Mr Rowe said M&S did have issues with the “waste and supply chain” in its food department over Christmas.
The retailer said it ordered too much food in the final two weeks before the big day.
Meanwhile, an overly complex supply chain meant that food spent more time in the delivery system and less time on shelves.
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Nevertheless, like-for-like food sales, which exclude takings from new stores, increased by 1.4% in the final 13 weeks of 2019.
However, that growth was largely offset by a dip in the home and clothing departments at M&S.
The firm said customers were also more conservative when giving presents over Christmas.
M&S said fewer customers bought items from its gift range, which includes things that could be considered token presents, such as fragrance sets.
As a result, like-for-like sales at M&S climbed just 0.2% in the final months of the year.
“Disappointing one-off issues – notably waste and supply chain in the food business, the shape of buy in menswear and performance in our gifting categories – held us back from delivering a stronger result,” said Mr Rowe.
However, the firm outperformed rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s, both of which saw sales slip during a similar period.
Richard Lim, the boss of analyst firm Retail Economics, said M&S could be showing signs of recovery after what was a tough year for the business, which dropped out of the FTSE 100 in September.
“Food performed particularly well, benefiting from stronger underlying household finances, but consumers also responded positively to more competitive pricing,” he said.
“While clothing and home lagged overall growth, it still improved on previous performances.”
But investors were disappointed by the result.
Shares in the M&S fell by as much as 11.2% after it revealed its results on Thursday.