John Ibbotson / 24th May 2017
M&S have released their figures and they are simply terrible, not even a ray of hope from their food line. What is happening to this British high street stalwart?
“M&S has run out of excuses. No amount of stammering about the mild winter or the weak Pound can mask the fact that these results are nothing less than awful.
“For years the brand’s successful food range provided a fig leaf that spared the blushes of its underperforming clothes ranges. No longer – stalling food sales and profit over the past year have revealed the full, naked weakness of the brand’s unappealing clothing lines.
“With inflation eating into the profits of the once reliable food offering, and a string of one-off expenses slicing into profits elsewhere, the net result has been to send pre-tax profits tanking by nearly two-thirds.
“M&S remains a dysfunctional dichotomy – premium food with dowdy clothing.
The second phase of Steve Rowe’s turnaround strategy was supposed to deliver a fightback, closing stores and reallocating floor space from clothing to food. But it’s not working fast enough.
“Trialling an online food delivery service later this year is welcome but it’s too little too late, and it won’t improve profits.
“Fundamental problems still remain. M&S has too many High Street stores in the wrong locations and too much competition in both fashion and food, on the net and instore.
“The appointment of the former Asda chief executive, Archie Norman, as M&S’s new chairman is to be welcomed. Drastic action is needed to turn around M&S and Norman will not be afraid to take it.