M&S delivers consumer confidence warning

02 July, 2008

Marks & Spencer has blamed falling consumer confidence for a sales drop in its food division.

M&S like-for-like food sales slipped 4.5 per cent for the 13 weeks to June 28th. A group spokesperson said separate wine sales figures were not available at this time.

The news, which follows three years of strong growth for the division, underlines consumers’ growing unease about the state of the UK economy.

M&S chairman Sir Stuart Rose said: “In this quarter, pressures on consumer spending and increased competitor pricing and promotional activity, coupled with changes in consumer buying patterns, have resulted in a significantly weaker performance.”

He added that market conditions were likely to “remain difficult”.

The latest survey to highlight consumer woe was a GfK NOP report, which this week claimed confidence had plunged to its lowest ebb for 18 years.




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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