A red Christmas for Marks & Spencer

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Marks & Spencer third quarter sales take a dive as the recession bites the retailer even harder



6 January 2009

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Marks & Spencer is expected to report its worst Christmas sales performance since Sir Stuart Rose took charge of the company. Analysts are predicting that like-for-like sales will be down at least 5.5% in the third quarter, and possibly as much as 9.6%.

According to reports, it is estimated that M&S non-food sales will have declined between 6% and 8% compared with Q3 in 2007, with margins taking a further battering by discounting in the run up to Christmas.

Although food sales are predicted to have benefited from consumers trading up to premium ranges during the festive season, a drop of nearly 7% is still expected.

The Observer in the UK wrote that should Marks & Spencer’s overall sales be down by more than 6.3%, it will represent the worst quarterly performance for the company since 1999.



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