8 January 2021
The Weekly

Marks & Spencer saw its overall revenue shrink 8.4% to £2.77bn in the key Q3 due to lockdown measures in the U.K., and a double-digit decline in clothing and home sales, despite a robust online business. The food division grew, as M&S was one of the few retailers that could keep its physical stores open during pandemic-related closures in the U.K., along with supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. U.K. sales in the third quarter were down 8.2% to £2.53bn, with food sales up 2.2% and clothing and home down 25.1%. Sales in the international division fell 10.4% in the three months to Dec. 31, 2020.

Online sales grew 47.5%, due largely to the retailer’s new deal with Ocado’s grocery home delivery service and an overall shift to online shopping during lockdown. The clothing and home business suffered mainly from an in-store sales decline of 46.5%, partly offset by strong online sales growth. The company said the new free-trade agreement with the European Union means it will not incur tariffs on its core U.K. sales.