LONDON — Marks & Spencer Group plc said revenue in the third quarter climbed 1.8 percent, driven by gains in food and international sales.
However, the U.K. general merchandise category, which includes clothing and accessories, was down 1.1 percent, or 2.1 percent on an underlying basis, despite an overhaul of the company's clothing offer.
“We delivered an improved performance in general merchandise over the important Christmas period, with sales up 1.5 percent in a highly promotional market," said chief executive Marc Bolland, adding that he is cautious about the outlook for the full year. "An exceptionally unseasonal October, which saw GM sales down strongly, has resulted in a quarterly performance below our expectations."
In general merchandise, Bolland said M&S held its full-price trading stance for much of the quarter, "but as the level of promotional activity in the marketplace intensified in the run up to Christmas, we responded with a number of promotions.
"We saw early signs of improvement in our women's wear business, with customers responding positively to our re-focus on quality and style, resulting in small market share growth in this area for the first time in three years," he added.
He cited a "good" performance across categories including coats, dresses and footwear, noting, "We managed stocks tightly, resulting in a clean position at the end of the quarter."
The statement said that food performed strongly, gaining 4.1 percent in the 13 weeks to Dec. 28, with record revenues of 64 million pounds, or $105 million at current exchange, on Dec. 23.
International sales at constant currency rates were up 4.5 percent, with India and China notching double-digit growth, while M&S.com was up 23 percent. Orders from tablets were up more than 100 percent, while those from mobile phones rose more than 80 percent.
A new Web platform is on track to launch this spring, which the store said would make a "meaningful" difference to the service provided.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)