M&S sales fall, for the millionth time

marks and spencer Have you been shopping at Marks and Spencer recently? It would suggest no-one has, as their sales have gone and fallen again (for the six months to 26th September). With a shop as (formerly) reliable as M&S, how on Earth can the management balls this up?

As ever, food sales are good, and in fact, increasing - it is just in every other department that the chain is falling down on. General merchandise, including their clothing division, were down by 1.2%.

Of course, the company are still making a profit, but that figure has been falling year-on-year. And right on cue, we've got another shop saying that 'conditions on the high street are challenging'. All the shops chuck that out when these things get announced.

M&S said: "In the second quarter we took a decision to focus on full price sales and discount less which affected sales performance. Despite some improvement in consumer confidence, market conditions continue to be challenging in both the UK and the international markets."

See that? While their rivals are selling products more cheaply, or doing a number of sales and promotions, M&S aren't. They're not into that, and likewise, neither are British consumers. M&S are also designing their own clothing, which isn't a bad idea, until you look at the clothes they're actually trying to sell.

It looks like M&S are going to focus on food sales, which is a good idea, as there's (forgive the pun) an appetite for their wares. Of course, they've just unleashed their Sparks promotion as well, which they're hoping will get people back through the doors.

However, in other departments, M&S looks old-fashioned and overpriced. We'll have to see if they can get their fingers out in the new year.


  • Patrick
    I work next door to one of their large Oxford St dept stores. I used to buy shoes, pants and socks there but have stopped. - They've stopped selling 100% cotton socks (which is the only reason I bought their socks). - The rubber on the bottom of their shoes wears really quickly--meaning they last less than a third of what a bog standard Clarks shoe lasts. - The quality of their pants is poor these days. I stupidly bought a £180 suitcase from them last year as it was exceptionally light. It lasted one international flight before it cracked down the sides. I repaired it with duck tape but the other sides have also cracked now. I bought a slightly heavier case from Primark for a sixth of the price and it's lasted 5 flights with no damage. These days I associate M&S with continually decreasing quality and overpricing. The only reason I go there is for their £10 meal deals, but even with those they're slowly reducing quantities and removing the better options.
  • Warwick H.
    M&S shot themselves in the foot when they transferred production to the sweat shops on the sub continent where they pay pennies to have garments made but still charge top whack here for very ordinary quality. I now buy all my shoes while on holiday in Spain for a fraction of M&S prices, mind make sure they are made in Elche and not imported from China. I bought two pairs in Bulgaria last Sept for £24 and I have to say they are very well made and comfortable yet my Bro bought a very expensive pair from a very exclusive shoe shop in the UK and they have had to be sent back twice because the stitching has come away after a few weeks. TBH they deserve all they have brought upon themselves through sheer greed.

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