M&S says near term trading remains “very challenging”

High street retailer Marks & Spencer has reported a decline in Clothing & Home despite making “good progress”.

According to its third quarter trading update, total M&S sales were down 8.2% to £2.5bn with like-for-like sales down 7.6%.

Clothing & Home sales dropped 25.1% to £787m as well as down 24.1% on a like-for-like basis. However, online sales jumped 47.5% and represented £353m.

M&S said Clothing & Home made good progress in repositioning ranges and the revenue decrease reflected an in-store sales decline of 46.5%. The sales mix remained heavily biased to Covid influenced product such as sleepwear and leisurewear.

Steve Rowe, Chief Executive said: “Given the on-off restrictions and distortions in demand patterns our trading was robust over the Christmas period. Near term trading remains very challenging but we are continuing to accelerate change under our Never the Same Again programme to ensure the business emerges from the pandemic in very different shape.”