Economy

Britain's M&S feels heat from mild October as sales stumble

Britain's M&S feels heat from mild October as sales stumble

In Clothing & Home, meanwhile, while revenue grew in-store and online in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the performance was hampered by an unseasonably warm October, which meant the retailer carried more stock into the December sale.

Tesco reported its biggest ever sales week in the United Kingdom over Christmas, with 58 million customer transactions and 770,000 online grocery deliveries.

The trading update comes as the wider group missed forecasts for Christmas trading as strong sales of fresh food were undermined by lower demand for general goods such as DVDs and video games.

The clothing market was particularly weak in October and food sales have been continuously underperforming, he said.

"We have continued to outperform the market throughout this period, particularly in fresh food, thanks to our most competitive offer for many years", said CEO Dave Lewis. Notably its main rivals Morrisons (MRW) and Sainsbury's (SBRY) both reported better-than-expected numbers this week on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

It was another mixed bag for Marks & Spencer this Christmas with sales falling in its food and clothing and home divisions, though not by as much as the market had feared.

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Britain's biggest supermarket said like-for-like sales were up 1.9% in the six-week period to 6 January, with food up 3.4%, but that general merchandise dragged on the overall performance.

Marks & Spencer's clothes and sales fell in the last quarter of 2017, hampering the British retailer's latest attempt at a corporate turnaround and knocking its shares.

Debenhams and Mothercare have both issued profit warnings, John Lewis [JLPLC.UL] said on Thursday that higher costs and tough competition had blunted the benefits of solid Christmas sales, while House of Fraser saw its sales fall.

Lidl has claimed it was the "fastest growing supermarket" over Christmas after booking record festive sales.

"We are confident in the outlook for the full year and are firmly on track to deliver our medium-term ambitions". The retailer said sales rose 16 per cent in December as it experienced its highest ever footfall.


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