Marks & Spencer has posted a sales rise across its food, clothing and home categories over the Christmas period.

Marks & Spencer store exterior

M&S saw UK like-for-like sales grow by 8.1% in the 13 weeks to December 30

In the 13 weeks to December 30, the retailer saw its UK like-for-like sales grow by 8.1% and it was the top-performing grocer in volume growth terms.

Food sales increased by 10.5% on a total basis and 9.9% on a like-for-like basis, which M&S said was helped by supply chain improvements and growth in categories such as meat, poultry, produce, grocery and in-store bakery.

Clothing and home sales grew by 4.8% on a total and like-for-like basis, with store sales increasing by 2% and online sales increasing by 10.9%. The retailer also saw strong demand for click and collect.

International sales declined by 6.4% driven mainly by the “planned timing of franchise shipments in the Middle East and Asia” and challenging market conditions in India.

Marks & Spencer said expectations for economic growth in FY25 remain “uncertain” but strong Christmas trading provides “confidence” that financial results for the upcoming year will be in line with market expectations.

M&S chief executive Stuart Machin said: “Our strategy to reshape M&S for growth has enabled sustained sales momentum across food and clothing and home over the Christmas period. 

“Thank you to our customers for shopping with us and to our colleagues who worked incredibly hard. Underpinning the strong performance in both businesses is our commitment to trusted value – unbeatable M&S quality at the best possible price. 

“In food, we inflated below the market, with quality perception increasing further. In clothing and home, style perception continued to improve and we maintained our lead on quality and value, delivering an increase in full-price sales mix and our highest full-price market share for over a decade.

“We enter 2024 with a spring in our step, but clear-eyed on the near-term challenges. We are determined to deliver our objective of driving 1% growth in market share in both businesses and to up the pace of our transformation: keeping a relentless focus on trusted value; accelerating our store rotation and renewal plans; doubling down on our supply chain programmes to improve availability and lower costs; and resetting our data, digital and technology strategy to unlock benefits in future years. 

“Our vision is to be the most trusted retailer, doing the right thing for our customers, with quality products at the heart of everything we do, and we are just at the beginning of what we can achieve. Lots done, lots to do, lots of opportunity ahead.” 

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Katie Shaw, head of people partnering, store operations and property at M&S, will be speaking at LIVE 2024: Retail Week x The Grocer on March 12-13 next year.

LIVE 2024 is the annual event bringing the need-to-know stories across retail and FCMG to the stage. The heroes behind the headlines will share the latest industry ideas with leaders across all key sectors.

This year, Retail Week has joined forces with The Grocer to allow colleagues, competitors and change-makers to meet in a space that stimulates conversation and builds networks.