arks and Spencer at present mentioned the Brexit commerce deal was set to “considerably impression” its EU shops’ gross sales as extremely advanced paperwork throws delays into its system.
In a buying and selling assertion at present marked by a predictable plunge in gross sales from its locked-down shops however a surge in on-line takings, M&S acknowledged the commerce deal struck on Christmas Eve would imply no tariffs for items coming into its UK shops. However it warned of “very advanced administrative processes” for shops overseas.
It cited its companies within the EU states of Eire, the Czech Republic and France as being susceptible.
The FTSE 250 chain is amongst companies that imports a variety of items to the UK, earlier than then sending them on to its shops within the bloc, with items resembling Percy Pigs made in Germany.
Which means it’s doubtlessly uncovered to increased prices and rather more paperwork at borders, below the brand new free commerce settlement between the UK and the EU.
Worldwide revenues already fell 10.4% because of altering Covid-19 restrictions within the 13 weeks to 26 December.
M&S had earlier this week blamed Brexit for its franchised French shops working out of salads and sandwiches.
Elsewhere, M&S put in a creditable Christmas efficiency given the pandemic’s inevitable hit to its bricks and mortar shops as meals gross sales saved the day.
Its on-line tie-up with Ocado, struck earlier than the disaster, regarded ever extra prescient. Although its Excessive Avenue meals gross sales have been hit by fewer folks visiting city centres, it managed a 2.6% improve in like-for-like grocery takings.
Complete UK like-for-like gross sales have been down 7.6% with clothes and homewares collapsing a predictable 24.1%.
Vogue and residential had accelerated on-line as gross sales from retailers plunged 46.5% towards on-line gross sales rises of 47.5%, albeit the latter got here from a far decrease base.
Chief govt Steve Rowe mentioned: “Given the on-off restrictions and distortions in demand patterns our buying and selling was sturdy over the Christmas interval.
“Extra importantly, beneath the Covid clouds we noticed a really robust efficiency from the meals enterprise together with Ocado Retail and an extra acceleration of clothes and residential on-line.”
As seen throughout the Excessive Avenue, sleepwear and leisurewear have been the massive sellers as folks labored from house.
A shiny spot was that M&S eliminated blanket promotions so full priced gross sales rose strongly, which ought to enhance revenue margins.
M&S is about to purchase Jaeger in a transfer that can add to its “multi-brand” technique of, breaking with custom and providing non-M&S ranges.
It’s shopping for the enterprise from tycoon Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mills, which collapsed into administration final 12 months.
It not too long ago bid for Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie model, however was crushed by Subsequent.