Retailers struggle to make profits from soaring online sales: Shopping habits are shifting so quickly that the amount spent through smartphone and tablet purchases is expected to soar nearly five-fold within a decade, according to experts
M&S makes room for another hotelier as IHG’s Richard Solomons joins board: Marks & Spencer has for the second time turned to one of the world’s top hoteliers to bolster its non-executive board members. The retailer announced yesterday that Richard Solomons, Chief Executive of f (IHG), would become a director next week and sit on its nomination committee.
Buy M&S shares as clothes recovery could spark dividend growth: Marks and Spencer shares shot to the top of the FTSE 100 leader board last Thursday as investors cheered the turnaround in the clothing business. This is an important moment for the investment case in Marks and Spencer as the clothing business has held it back with falling sales for almost four years. During that period the company was propped up by a strong performance from food sales. Now with both parts of the business increasing sales, and profit margins from clothing improving, then there is the prospect that dividends can begin to rise again, which could spark a rerating in the shares. The annual dividend has been held at 17p for four years. The retailer said that like-for-likes sales in its general merchandise arm rose 0.7% in the 13 weeks to March 28 beating market expectations for another 1.1% fall. That was a sharp improvement on the 5.8% decline in like-for-like sales during the third quarter, and the 2.9% like-for-like sales fall across the first half. This is an important moment for Marc Bolland, Chief executive, who put women’s clothing at the centre of his revival strategy. Even more encouragingly the company said the gross profit margins made from clothing should be up by 1.5 to 2%, during the year to about 54%. Kate Calvert, from broker Investec, thinks the clothing profit margin has further to go during the coming years. Marks & Spencer at 553.8p+23.3p. Questor says “Buy”.
Marks & Spencer said like-for-like clothing sales grew 0.7pc in the 13 weeks to March 28, bringing an end to 14 consecutive quarters of declining sales, thanks to a particularly popular suede skirt and a boost in online sales.
Food sales also grew 0.7pc, beating the performance of Britain's "big four" supermarkets
Very interesting reboundreturns ! I have had a similar conversation with my teenage grand daughter and to my surprise she was very uncomplimentary about next, in particular a serious decline in quality of their merchandise, having returned everything she purchased there on the last three occasions! This is an area next need to pay far more attention to, and also the attitude of some of their staff is far from satisfactory in her opinion.
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