M&S posts good rise in food sales
Published:  12 April, 2013

Retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has delivered the strongest quarterly sales growth in the last two years, with group sales up 3.1%.

Despite “difficult” trading conditions on the high street, M&S’ food sales were up 2.6% this quarter, with like-for-ike sales on food up 4%. “We delivered an excellent result in food, with performance well ahead of the market, as customers continued to trust us for provenance and quality. We are increasingly seen as the destination shop for special occasions,” said chief executive Marc Bolland.

According to Bolland, success in food sales lies within a continued focus on improving the product ranges, which has led the company to become “a destination of choice for customers looking for quality and innovation, particularly for special occasions in the year”.

As such, this year, M&S saw its biggest-ever Easter week and said the provenance of its food helped, particularly with the horsemeat issue. Bolland said: “As a result we were pleased to be unaffected by the recent issues affecting the food industry.”

Online

The company has also seen an increased use of its click-and-collect offer ‘Shop Your Way’, with increased web traffic and higher mobile sales penetration, which has grown by more than 70% on last year.

A new e-commerce distribution centre will open later this month and a new web platform is due to launch in spring next year.

The future

M&S said it had predicted an increase in pressure on consumers’ disposable incomes at the start of the year. This prediction, it said, has led the company to remain cautious about the outlook for the year ahead.

The Marks & Spencer Group is due to report its full-year results this May.




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