According to sources from Kantar Worldpanel, the M&S fashion brand lost 0.4% of their shares in the market and underwent a 1.3% decrease in retail sales in the weeks after the 20th of January. However, as much as M&S suffers through the ordeal, high end brand Zara and lower end budget chain Primark showed a doubling of sales, as with H&M, Next and Debenhams as reported by the Sunday Times.
Because of the increase in other retail chains and the decrease in sales at Marks and Spencer, there will be a lot of pressure on CEO Marc Bolland especially after the devastating results that came after the Christmas holidays. Studies show that sales have decreased by 1.8% in the United Kingdom from the 29th of December up to those following weeks as well as a devastating 3.8% blow on general merchandise.
The Marks and Spencer group had taken ex Debenhams and Jaegar chief Belinda Earl to improve the face of womenswear and ultimately give the brand a once-over. However, Earl had mentioned that their last trading gig had felt that it was a “greatly promotional and very challenging” retail market and that it lacked time to further apply their plans on improving the brand.
Thus, the new Autumn Winter collection spearheaded by Earl will only be launched this July, quite late considering that other retail chains launch their collections right before the season starts. Judging from their increase in sales, it looks like avid shoppers are more attracted to low priced fashion that Primark offers.
The Kantar figures were taken from the National Statistics, which reported a decrease of sales in January due to the snow affecting several areas of the United Kingdom. Kantar was not available for comments while Marks and Spencer refused to give out comments as well.