M&S set to add to high street gloom
Tuesday 05 April 2011
Marks & Spencer is expected to add to the gloom on the high street tomorrow when the retail bellwether posts its fourth quarter trading update.
While M&S bucked the trend over the festive season, when like-for-like sales rose by a bigger-than-expected 2.8%, analysts have forecast a decline in like-for-like sales of 2.5% in the 13 weeks to April 2.
The update will give a clearer insight into the full year financial performance at the company, which is on track to report pre-tax profits of £709 million, a 12% rise compared to the previous year.
Retailers have faced a torrid 2011 so far as companies such as John Lewis, PC World owner Dixons Retail and entertainment group HMV have all reported a weak performance over the last three months.
M&S, which launched its celebrity-laden spring advertising campaign last month, is expected to reveal a particularly weak performance in its general merchandise sales, including clothing, which are expected to have dropped 6.2% on a same-store basis.
However, analysts have forecast a 1.3% rise in like-for-like growth for food sales at the chain, down slightly on the 1.8% rise seen in the third quarter, as it continues to be boosted by inflation.
Meanwhile, the City will be looking for further details and progress on new chief executive Marc Bolland's strategic vision for the business.
Mr Bolland's latest move has been to reveal plans for the chain to return to France - a decade after it pulled out of the country.
It aims to open a three-storey outlet on the Champs Elysees in Paris towards the end of 2011. M&S exited France when it closed its 38 stores in continental Europe in 2001 to concentrate on turning around its UK business.
Mr Bolland's strategy for the group, outlined in November, also involves a drive to place the chain's own brand at the forefront of the vision for the business.
In clothing, as well as boosting its own brand, the company plans to invest in its sub-brands - such as womenswear ranges Per Una and Indigo Collection - through improved marketing and clearer positioning in stores.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 3 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Death in the Valley of the Dolls: Heroin overdose turns the spotlight on prostitution boom in California's tech industry
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Woman, 61, jailed for seven years after drink-drive death of cyclist
Gaza-Israel conflict: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to streets of London, Paris and New York in wave of protests
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...