Marks and Spencer will open fewer Simply Food retailers than anticipated after identical retailer meals gross sales fell within the first six months of its monetary yr.
Chief govt Steve Rowe stated final yr the retailer would open 200 Simply Food retailers over the following 5 years.
However, M&S stated it will “reposition our food business including slowing our Simply Food store opening plan”.
Like-for-like meals gross sales, which exclude new retailer gross sales fell zero.1%, with Marks saying it confronted “stronger headwinds”.
However, whole meals gross sales for the interval rose four.four% pushed by new retailer openings.
M&S stated that “hard-pressed” customers had been extra conscious of worth and had been being “careful about premium choices”. It added that “headwinds facing our food business have intensified as competitors have encroached on some of our space with the rapid growth of convenience.”
For the group total whole gross sales rose by 2.6% to £5.1bn, however pre-tax revenue fell by 5.three% to £219.1m.
Like-for-like gross sales in clothes and homeware fell zero.7%, whereas whole same-store gross sales fell by zero.three%.
Commenting on the M&S’s efficiency in meals, Patrick O’Brien, UK badysis director at GlobalData Retail, stated: “When you compare that to the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, whose recent like-for-likes have been around 2% plus, that’s a pretty bad performance.”
He stated that meals had been “a banker” for M&S prior to now. “For it to be losing ground at a time of inflation is really quite damaging,” he stated.
Mr Rowe stated: “We have made good progress in remedying the instant and burning points at M&S I outlined final yr.
“In clothes and residential, early outcomes are encouraging, and in International we now have a worthwhile and sturdy enterprise.
“We recognise now that we face stronger headwinds in food, which will be addressed in the year ahead.”
M&S additionally introduced that its chief monetary officer, Helen Weir, will step down. She will keep on till a successor is discovered.