M&S sees small Q3 revenue fall & names 17 sites to close

Marks and Spencer has reported its financial figures for the third quarter - 13 weeks to 29 December 2018, showing a relatively steady performance in difficult markets, with its transformation programme on track.

The group has also named the next wave of stores earmarked for closure in the programme (see at end). The 17 proposed closures are part of the retailer's five-year plan to shut over 100 stores by 2022.

For Q3, the total UK revenue stood at £2,782m, a decrease of 2.7%, which equates to a 2.2% fall in like-for-liked.

Food like-for-like revenue of £1,679m - a fall of 1.2% (-2.1% in LFL) - reflected price investment and the transition to trusted value with early signs of volume improvement, and solid growth over the Christmas weeks.

Steve Rowe, Chief Executive said, “Against the backdrop of well publicised difficult market conditions our performance remained steady across the period. Our Food business traded successfully over Christmas as customers responded to improved value. Our transformation programme remains on track.

'The combination of reducing consumer confidence, mild weather, Black Friday, and widespread discounting by our competitors made November a very challenging trading period. However, overall our 13-week performance was steady with some early encouraging signs.'

The 17 stores which M&S proposes to close are: Ashford, Barrow, Bedford, Boston, Buxton, Cwmbran, Deal, Felixstowe, Huddersfield, Hull, Junction One Antrim Outlet, Luton Arndale, Newark, Northwich, Rotherham, Sutton Coldfield and Weston-super-Mare.