M&S slows down its food store expansion plan

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Marks and Spencer will open less Simply Food stores than expected after the same store, food sales fell in the first six months of its financial year.

Ceo Steve Rowe said last year, the retailer to open 200 Simply Food stores over the next five years.

However, M&S said it would “reposition our company in the food sector, including the slowdown of our Simply Food store opening plan.”

As for the food sales, which exclude new store sales fell 0.1%, with Marks, saying it is facing “strong headwinds”.

However, total food sales for the period increased 4.4%, driven by the opening of new stores.

M&S said that the “evil” that consumers are increasingly aware of the value and are “attention on the choice of premiums”. He added that “the headwinds facing our food industry have intensified competitors have encroached on some of our spaces with the rapid growth of convenience.”

For the total group, the sales increased by 2.6% to £5.1 bn, but earnings before taxes decreased from 5.3% to £219.1 m.

As the turnover in the clothing and utensils decreased by 0.7%, while total sales in comparable stores decreased by 0.3%.

Comments on the M&S performance in the food, Patrick O’brien, united KINGDOM, director of research at GlobalData Retail, said: “When you compare this to the likes of Tesco, sainsbury’s and Morrisons, including the most recent like-for-likes to have around 2% more, that is a pretty poor performance.”

He said that the food had been a “banker” for M&S in the past. “For it to be losing ground at the time of inflation is really very damaging,” he said.

Mr Rowe said: “We have made good progress in repairing the immediate and burning issues of M&S that I presented last year.

“In apparel and home, the first results are encouraging, and we now have a profitable and robust business.

“We now recognize that we are facing stronger headwinds in the food, which will be addressed in the coming year.”

M&S has also announced that its chief financial officer Helen Weir, will resign. She will stay until a successor is found.