Marks Electrical boss Mark Smithson has insisted the retailer is winning market share from competitors such as John Lewis that “neglect their customers”.

Mark Smithson Marks Electrical

Smithson says Marks Electrical is ’in control of our own destiny’ despite economic headwinds

Smithson suggested John Lewis’ strategy of closing some of its larger stores or transforming selling space into offices or apartments was helping Marks Electrical to win shoppers from the department store chain.

Smithson’s claim came after the online electricals retailer delivered a 15.1% rise in sales to £43.1m during the six months to September 31. Adjusted EBITDA slipped 10.8% year on year to £2.7m, while statutory profit after tax climbed 6.9% to £1.7m. 

Marks Electrical increased its market share in the major domestic appliances and online consumer electronics markets to 2.1% and 0.6% respectively during the period, while brand awareness climbed from 7% to 10%. 

Smithson told Retail Week its customer offer, which prioritises free next-day delivery and being “on the money with its pricing”, allowed it to snap up market share from competitors like John Lewis. 

“John Lewis tend to neglect their customers – they’re closing stores and turning them into apartments or offices,” Smithson said.

“That’s really the demographic of customer that we’re after. We focus on premium products and we’re looking for high-spending consumers with a higher average order value.”

Despite tough trading conditions as consumers rein in spending during a cost-of-living crisis, Smithson said Marks raked in record sales during October. Revenues in the first weekend of November were higher than during Black Friday last year, which he described as “incredible”.

“You try not to be too bullish when you’re giving a forecast, but we are doing exceptionally well,” Smithson added.

“Even if there is a downturn [next year], we’ve seen a downturn of some 15% this year already, we’re used to it and we can buck the trend with our offering because we’re in total control of the sale.

“We have no other satellite depots or warehouses. We don’t operate the hub-and-spoke model that our competitors do, which is very overhead-heavy. Even if Armageddon appears, we’ve got a very light-overhead business operating model, which will stand us in good stead. We’re in control of our own destiny.”