M&S warns new website will hit clothing sales
21 May 2014 1:56am
Chief executive Marc Bolland admitted the website “will take four to six months to be at full strength” as the 6m customers whose details were lost from the old site trickle back to its new platform.
The news dampened its share price yesterday, with analysts at Shore Capital warning the delay could wipe around one per cent off first quarter general merchandise sales.
The revamp of its website was part of Bolland’s £2.3bn, three-year plan to tackle years of underinvestment and turn M&S into a multi-channel retailer. The plan has included building a new distribution centre in the Midlands.
“A lot of heavy lifting needed to be done,” Bolland said, insisting the company was now “fit for purpose”.
The group also said spending will fall from £710m to £500m-£550m per year over the next three years while operating margins are also set to improve, giving the potential for any extra cash to be returned to shareholders.
Underlying profit before tax fell 3.9 per cent to £623m in the 52 weeks to 29 March – the third consecutive year of decline – while group revenues rose 2.7 per cent to £10.3bn. The group said no one at the firm will receive a bonus after missing performance targets.
UK general merchandise like-for-like sales fell 1.4 per cent. Bolland insisted they were seeing “early signs of improvement” with clothing sales growing in the final quarter of the year.
In other news
This year's Eurovision Song Contest will feature an addition to the normal line up – for the first time ever, [Read more]
Tonight is the 60th Eurovision Song Contest, and once again we're in for an evening of cheesy music and crazy [Read more]
The Eurovision Song Contest is getting more and more expensive, despite Europe's decline into austerity. [Read more]
There were delays of up to 30 minutes to trains in and out of Kings Cross Station, after the station was re-opened [Read more]
When a 20-year-old footballer publicly declares he wants to leave a club and his agent hurls insults at one of [Read more]
The outbreak of bird flu in the US is leading to an unprecedented situation for companies reliant on eggs – [Read more]
Germany's finance ministry has denied reports it was considering offering Greece its own parallel currency. [Read more]
Chancellor George Osborne was given a boost today, as higher tax receipts helped shrink the deficit by more than [Read more]
Beleaguered spread-betting firm Plus500 today suspended trading in its shares on London's junior market, following [Read more]
The news that card and electronic transactions have overtaken cash as the UK’s preferred method of payment is [Read more]
Despite the crippling effect of election uncertainty, offers received in April were up 15 per cent on last year [Read more]
Former secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles is to be knighted, 10 Downing Street [Read more]
Network Rail engineers have destroyed the Abbey Wood station as part of the Crossrail development that is expected [Read more]
The Championship looks set to once again be named the fourth most-watched league in Europe, following a seven [Read more]
The Costa Coffee owner said Brittain was "the standout candidate from a very strong field". [Read more]
Sugary foods may be taxed to cover the costs of treating obesity, a government minister has said.
European governments must increase efforts to adopt structural reform if “lasting stability and prosperity” [Read more]