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Tough at the top for M&S as Q1 sales fall 2.8% Tuesday, 10th July 2012
Photo credit: Marks & Spencer plc
Like-for-like sales at the department store fell 2.8 per cent in the UK between April and June, as Marks & Spencer struggled to deal with stock issues and wet weather.
Total group sales fell 0.7 per cent in the retailer’s first quarter, with like-for-like sales at its UK food business rising just 0.6 per cent.
Along with its first quarter trading update, M&S on Tuesday announced the departure of the head of general merchandise, Kate Bostock, after much speculation in recent months over a possible boardroom shuffle.
Bostock will remain with the company until 1 October, when John Dixon, current head of food at M&S, will take over.
In light of the announcements, M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said: "General merchandise underperformed in a difficult trading season. We are confident we are taking the necessary steps to address this."
Adding that he believed the retailer’s food business “has again performed strongly”.
It hasn’t been an easy quarter for the department store. Back in May, M&S was forced to report its first fall in annual profit for three years.
Matthew McEachran at Singer Capital Markets described M&S’s first quarter trading as “weak, driven by disappointing clothing demand.” But was also encouraged by the changes in the senior team, adding: “Overall these changes should help to restore some stability at a critical time for M&S but may time to bed in.”