Marks & Spencer clothing sales fall again after the retailer‘s director of clothing and beauty left last month. This slide comes after the director of clothing and beauty, Jo Jenkins, resigned to join White Stuff. The British retail giant reported like-for-like sales fell 2.8 per cent in its clothing wing over the 13 weeks to December 30 in a ‘mixed‘ quarter for the group.
Steve Rowe, Chief Executive of M&S, noted, “M&S had a mixed quarter with better Christmas trading in both businesses going some way to offset a weak clothing market in October and on-going under-performance in our food like-for-like sales.” M&S said its food halls also reported “on-going under-performance” with like-for-like sales down 0.4 per cent in the quarter. In October 2017, director of women’s wear, lingerie & beauty, Jenkins, left her post ‘disappointed‘ to have not been selected for the role of MD for Clothing, Home & Beauty.
In November, it was revealed that Marks & Spencer attempted to speed up the closure of 100 stores or departments selling clothes and home products. This measure was undertaken as part of a methodology to cut costs, shut underperforming outlets and encourage a move to shopping online. M&S is also planning to slow down the opening of new Simply Food outlets and offer more value products post analysis that families are finding it hard to pay premium prices. M&S disclosed that profits in the first half of the financial year dropped by 5.3 per cent to £219.1 million.