M&S's 20 per cent off sale tomorrow is joined by a number of other retailers:
- Aldi is reducing selected items by more than 25 per cent
- WHSmith is reducing everything by at least 10 per cent
- Allders is reducing everything by 50 per cent today and tomorrow
- Argos is reducing selected toy brands by 50 per cent in an ongoing Sale
- Woolworths is stealing a march on rivals by reducing everything
Analysts have voiced concern about the amount of sales, which are in danger of lowering pre-Christmas revenues. However, it is M&S upon which they seem to be pouring the most scorn.
Evolution analyst Nick Bubb makes the distinction of 'planned panic' and 'panic panic', suggesting that Woolworths is indulging in the former, while M&S is suffering from the latter.
'Some panic promotions are planned and some aren't - and it's often not easy to tell which is planned and which is which, particularly in the electricals market. We think today's Woolworths [Sale] is definitely planned and that tomorrow's M&S promotion was probably not originally intended - You don't see Next going around eroding its pricing power by cutting prices just before Christmas and we can't believe a normal M&S would be stunting like this.'