Major UK retailer suffers 2.8% slip in like-for-like sales

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer suffered a slip in its like-for-like sales over Christmas

Major British retailer Marks & Spencer has reported a 2.8% slip in like-for-like sales for its clothing and home division over the Christmas period.

The report also stated that there was a 0.4 per cent fall in sales for the company’s food division in the 13 weeks to 30 December.

International revenue was also down, which the company has said reflects the completion of the planned closure of owned stores in loss-making markets. In retained owned and franchise markets, constant currency revenue increased by 6.5%.

Steve Rowe, Chief Executive said: “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 ongoing underperformance in our Food like-for-like sales. As a result, full year guidance remains unchanged.”

Elsewhere, rival John Lewis, reported a 3.1% rise in like-for-like sales for the six weeks to 30 December. Waitrose supermarket, which it also owns, reported a 1.4% increase in sales.

Tesco’s UK sales also rose 2.3% in the 19 weeks to 6 January. The supermarket said it saw “record sales and volumes” in the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

By contrast, UK department store chain Debenhams last week posted “disappointing” sales in its post-Christmas report blaming “tough competition and a volatile market.”