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M&S reports multichannel sales up by 10.8% – but a fall in like-for-like sales

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Multichannel sales rose by 10.8% at Marks & Spencer over the Christmas period, while like-for-like UK sales fell by 1.8%.

The retailer, which said it was making good progress in its bid to transform itself from high street stalwart to international and multichannel trader, highlighted free next-day store collection as part of initiatives to improve its customer service. It also reported a 90% rise in sales from mobile devices over Christmas.

M&S is set to open a new ecommerce distribution centre in April 2013, and will launch a new web platform in Spring 2014.

But multichannel sales were the brightest spot in the company’s third quarter interim management statement. Group sales rose by 0.6% in the 13 weeks to December 29. And while total UK sales were up by 0.3%, like-for-like sales fell by 1.8%. Food sales grew by 0.3%, like-for-like, but general merchandise sales were down by 3.8%. International sales rose by 4.1%.

Chief executive Marc Bolland said: “Our food business has performed very well with record sales over the key Christmas trading period. Our general merchandise performance is not yet satisfactory but we are confident that the steps being taken by the new management team will address this.

“Our plan is to transform Marks & Spencer from a traditional UK retailer to an international multichannel retailer. We are making good progress against this plan.”

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