M&S clothing sales hammered by lockdowns in Christmas quarter

Marks & Spencer sales hammered by pre-Christmas lockdowns

Marks & Spencer sales hammered by pre-Christmas lockdowns

M&S warned on Friday that the tariff issue would have a significant impact on its business in Ireland, the Czech Republic and its franchise business in France.

Global sales fell 10.4 per cent to £239m over the quarter as the business suffered from changing Covid restrictions around the globle, though there was a doubling of online sales.

"We appreciate that the rules of origin in the Trade and Co-operation Agreement were created to be facilitative on trade in goods, but we need a solution which genuinely reflects the needs of UK-EU supply and distribution chains for goods", William Bain of the BRC said.

"Depending on that there is a variable tariff".

"That good will now be subject to a tariff when entering the United Kingdom and then again when entering the European Union".

In yet another instance proving that 2021 is just as delightful as 2020 so far, Mark's and Spencer bosses have warned that the supply of Percy Pigs into Ireland is under threat.

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"Northern Ireland is a fully equal partner with every other part of the United Kingdom", Mr Gove said.

"And, at the moment, making sure we've got constant continuity of supply in our Irish business".

During the second lockdown lockdown in England that took place between November 5 and December 1, revenue was down 40.5%.

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In what would normally be a stronger season, clothing sales dropped 25.1% to £787m.

Marks & Spencer has reported a disappointing set of Christmas trading figures, despite some positivity from its Food division.

Online sales were strong - including a new tie-up with Ocado to offer grocery deliveries for the first time - and shoppers were keen on buying sleepwear and leisurewear as they stayed indoors.

"Near-term trading remains very challenging but we are continuing to accelerate change under our Never the Same Again programme to ensure the business emerges from the pandemic in very different shape", said Chief Executive Steve Rowe. On a comparative basis, M&S said this performance was even stronger given reduced food-on-the-move sales and lower footfall in town and city centres.

M&S added that the garments and residence division has been repositioning its ranges and the 46.5% slide in in-shop sales was partly offset by 47.5% development in on-line sales.

The risk here is whether such brands might cannibalise M&S branded products."Despite the pressure faced by their clothing division, the M&S food division is expected to deliver solid results, propelled by both stock-piling and its Ocado partnership".

He said: "The absence rate across the country's around just under 10%, but there are spikes in that".

Staff who are off will continue to receive full pay, he added.

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