According to reports from a Business Magazine released on Monday, Marks & Spencer, a retailer for Bellwether, has recorded its worst sales performance for a quarter in a period of three and a half years. This year recorded the wettest April and June months and hammered the trade of women’s wear since records for them have been kept.
Marks & Spencer Statement:
The business of Marks & Spencer deals with clothes, upmarket foods, footwear and home ware as well. As per reports from the firm on Tuesday Kate Bostock, the head of its non food business is going to leave the business and thereby add her name to an elite list which maintains significant departures of top managements this year. Their reports also stated that sales in their stores in UK that have now been open for more than a year, have gone down by 2.8% in a period of 13 weeks till June 30. This is their worst quarterly fall in sales since the third quarter of the financial year 2008-09. Chief executive of Marks & Spencer, Marc Bolland says “there has been an underperformance of their general merchandise in a trading season that been quite difficult.” He also added that they are taking necessary actions to improve the situation.
The Outcome as per the Analysts:
Compared to the consensus forecast of the analysts that mentioned a 3% fall, and according to the poll of the company out of 12, there was a decline of 0.7% in the last quarter of the last year. That was due to the error committed by the retailer when he ran out of the best selling footwear and women’s knitwear lines. The sales of general merchandise like home ware, spanning clothes and footwear saw a fall of 6.8% while the analysts made a forecast of a fall of 6.7%. Food sales on the hand rose by 0.6% as compared to the consensus forecast of the analysts of a rise of 0.8%.
The Role of the Weather:
It is evident that the weather clearly played a role in the poor performance of general merchandise of Marks & Spencer (M&S). But the analysts have also pointed out the fact that their rivals like Debenhams and John Lewis JLP.UL have shown continuous growth in their sales which clearly indicates that the firm has a made a lot of mistakes which led them to this fate. The gloomy market situation of the market for M&S just before the annual meeting of the shareholders of the company will definitely increase a lot of pressure on Marc Bolland. It was he who in the month of May had reduced the sales forecast of the retailers for the three year growth drive of the company. It is from that time that the analysts have been trying to edge down the profit forecasts for the year end of M&S in the month of March of 2013 to nearly 680 million pounds. It is in the month of October that Bostock is leaving M&S and will be replaced by John Dixon who is known as the current boss of food.