Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register for full access to Citywire’s Fund Manager database, news and analysis. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

Blood on the high street as Tesco, Morrisons and M&S suffer weak Xmas

Blood on the high street as Tesco, Morrisons and M&S suffer weak Xmas

Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Wm Morrison have all reported weaker than expected Christmas trading highlighting the difficult conditions for the UK’s biggest retailers.

In a stock market update, Wm Morrison said like-for-like sales slumped by 5.6% over the key six week period to January 5, prompting the supermarket chain to warn that its annual profits will be at the bottom end of the forecast range.

Wm Morrison’s chief executive Dalton Philips had previously forecast an upturn in sales over the Christmas period, which would have turned round a disappointing year for the group, which continues to lose market share.

Meanwhile Tesco reported a 2.4% fall in like-for-like sales, worse than the expected 2% drop, prompting fresh concerns about customers moving away from the big supermarket chains in favour of cheaper shops, such as Aldi and Lidl.

Mark and Spencer saw total like-for-like UK sales rise by 1% over the eight weeks to 24 December, but over the 13 weeks to 28 December, sales actually fell by -0.2%, which the group blamed on ‘an exceptionally unseasonal October’.

General merchandising sales rose by 1.5%, or 0.5% on a like-for-like basis over the eight week period after heavy promotion and discounting. Food sales continued to perform strongly, up 3.8%, or 1.5% on a like-for-like basis over the eight week Christmas period.

James McGregor, a director of retail consultants Retail Remedy, said: ‘The discounting-led uptick in general merchandise during the Christmas period has given M&S a boost but should not divert eyes away from the weak quarterly number.

‘[Chief executive] Mark Bolland set December 2013 as the turning point for M&S’s general merchandise offering, but take away the heavy Christmas discounting and the retailer is struggling in this area.’

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play Inside ETFs: Why the US bull-run still has legs

Inside ETFs: Why the US bull-run still has legs

Global equities suffered a sharp sell-off in the third quarter but exchange traded fund investors are continuing to back the US to outperform in 2015

Play Paul Niven: I won't rip up the Foreign & Colonial Trust history book

Paul Niven: I won't rip up the Foreign & Colonial Trust history book

The newly appointed manager of the Foreign & Colonial trust talks about his plans for UK's oldest investment company.

Play Dangerous daisy chains, Black Friday blues and Uber valuations

Dangerous daisy chains, Black Friday blues and Uber valuations

This week’s Investment Pulse looks at the domino effect in European banks, America’s disappointing Black Friday and how much Uber is really worth.

Your Business: Cover Star Club

Manchester wealth firm hires Coutts director for London launch

Manchester wealth firm hires Coutts director for London launch

Former Coutts director Tony Robinson has joined Chartered Wealth Management to head the company’s newly opened London office.

Wealth Manager on Twitter