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Half-year 2012/2013 results show Marks & Spencer plan to become international, multi-channel retailer is working
In November 2010, Marks & Spencer (M&S), a leading UK retailer, announced a three year plan to transform the company into an international, multi-channel retailer. The company announced plans to invest between £850m (approximately $1,363m) and £900m (approximately $1,443m) by 2013 to both enhance the UK business, and develop international and multi-channel capabilities.
In the company’s 2012 Annual Report, Marks and Spencer’s UK sales were slow. Clothing and home revenue, at £4.2bn (approximately $6.7bn) was down 0.9% on the year before, while food revenue was up 3.9%, with revenues of £4.7 (approximately $7.5bn). M&S’s plan to become a multi-channel retailer showed signs of strong growth. In FY2012, multi-channel revenue reached £559m (approximately $897m), with revenue growth of 18% over FY2011. Additionally, M&S’s online store had 3.4m weekly site visits, up 11.2% from the previous year. International revenue also grew at a strong rate, with revenues reaching £1.1bn (approximately $1.8bn), up 5.8% from the previous year.
M&S’s half year 2012/2013 press release further solidified the strong growth experienced by the company with their diversification into international and multi-channel markets. In H1, UK revenues grew by 0.6% compared to the same period the previous year. International sales, on the other hand, grew by 3.6%, largely boosted by a strong 6.1% growth rate experienced in the second quarter. The company’s operations in Europe were affected by macroeconomic pressures and currency translation, although strong growth in M&S’s international priority markets (China and India) offset this. M&S continued to expand globally, launching 19 international stores in H1, with 30 expected to launch in H2.
Multi-channel sales witnessed accelerated growth from 14.9% in Q1 to 21.6% in Q2 (outperforming the market by 8%pts), averaging in growth of 17.8% in H1. 2.5 million customers visited the company’s French e-commerce business, and a dedicated Irish website was launched in April. This November, M&S has plans to launch transactional websites in four more European markets.
M&S Chief Executive Marc Bolland said, “we are pleased to report a better performance across the businessin the second quarter… Eighteen months in we are making strong progress with our plan to transform M&S into an Internation Multi-channel retailer. Our new International stores are performing well, and our Multi-channel business is delivering strong growth.”
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