The key categories including coats, dresses and footwear performed very well. The Spring/Summer collection & Womenswear business, received positive response from customers, resulting in small market share growth in this area for the first time in three years. Given continued pressure on disposable incomes, Marks and Spencer remain cautious about the outlook. Our focus is on continuing to transform Marks & Spencer into an international, multi-channel retailer.
Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, said: “We delivered an improved performance in General Merchandise over the important Christmas period, with sales up 1.5 percent in a highly promotional market. However, an exceptionally unseasonal October, which saw GM sales down strongly, has resulted in a quarterly performance below our expectations. Our Food business had an excellent quarter, with 4.1 percent growth and record sales over the Christmas period, including our biggest day ever in food of 105 million dollars on the 23rd December. M&S.com also had a great quarter with sales up 23 percent, strongly ahead of the market. Our strategy to transform M&S into an international, multi-channel retailer, will keep on improving our .com service with the launch of our new platform and our new warehouse at full capacity. I’d like to thank all of our colleagues for their exceptional hard work and commitment over the key Christmas period.”