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Food still the saviour for Marks & Spencer

by LLB Editor
8th Jan 21 12:00 pm

Against such a difficult backdrop, Marks & Spencer’s third quarter performance is far from a disaster.

“Food sales were the saving grace with the Ocado joint venture being a lifeline for the group, giving it much-needed online delivery capability at a time when so many people want to order via their phones or laptops rather than risk going to crowded places during the pandemic. One can imagine a very different set of numbers had M&S not done that deal with Ocado,” according to AJ Bell.

“Clothing sales are still disappointing, and the business is clearly suffering from the change in society, whereby demand for smart dresses and sharp suits will have fallen off a cliff.

“At some point that will return, until which M&S must rely on demand for pyjamas and running kit to keep the tills ringing. Fortunately, it has a good reputation for quality products in both these areas, so management must avoid mistakes of the past and ensure there is adequate stock in all the popular sizes.

“This business seems to have been in turnaround mode for what feels like an eternity, yet the past year has seen some big steps to reshaping the group.’

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