M&S – the only way is up?

It was sad, but unsuprising to read this week that M&S have made a loss for the first time in their 94 year trading history.

They are putting the loss down to the lack of sales of clothing in particular – between July and September clothing sales in city centre stroes were down by 53%.

Being optimistic however, they anticipate that demand for more formal clothes and occasion-wear will return.

I know I have hardly bought any clothes this year – partly because my income was down therefore I am only buying on a needs basis, but also I haven’t been anywhere to justify new clothes.  The usual ‘summer holiday’ wardrobe was not required for my week in Scotland!!

Is there optimism for a return to formal wear a bit misplaced? The mass return to the office is not looking likely any time soon – and if we do get around to attending formal occassions then more customers will wear what  they already have in their wardrobes.

With their food sales propping them up, combined with the successful new partnership with Ocado then this is a blip for M&S which, with the right strategy, then can recover from.

“Today’s loss is the ashes from which the management hopes a new, slimmed-down and digital-savvy M&S will emerge.”


Q.  If you have suffered a dip this year, what lessons can you learn and how can you adapt to ensure the only way is up?