Read our new manifesto

Start 2021 with fresh ideas
and practical tips on...

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

BRAND SAFETY

GAMING AND ENTERTAINMENT

SOCIAL MEDIA

CTV AND OTT

CUSTOMER RETENTION

DATA AND IDENTITY

PURPOSEFUL MARKETING

NOW
AVAILABLE

Banner BGBanner BG

M&S CEO blames new website’s “settling in” period for 8.1% online sales drop

Marks & Spencer has seen online sales plummet 8.1 per cent in the 13 weeks until 28 June - a drop it has attributed to its new website overhaul.

General merchandise sales also fell 1.5 per cent like for like, according to its quarterly results, while clothing sales dropped 0.6 per cent like for like.

The retailer, which has released its results hours ahead of its annual general meeting with shareholders, attributed the reason for the fall to the “settling in” period of its new site, launched earlier this year.

M&S CEO Marc Bolland said: "We have seen a continued improvement in Clothing, although as anticipated the settling in of the new M&S.com site has had an impact on sales.

"We are pleased that the Womenswear business was in growth, driven by full price sales, in line with our increased focus on margin. Our Food business had another great quarter, continuing to outperform the market, through our focus on differentiation through quality and innovation."

Bolland also blamed a reduction in online and in-store promotion for the drop, having turned its focus more to its margins. He added that it is “on track” to deliver its full-year gross margin guidance.

He described the new site as “technically resilient”, and having received encouraging feedback from customers particularly on the fashion and style content. Now focus will turn to monetising the site future, with updates to be made on a regular basis, according to Bolland.

Group sales were up 2.3 per cent, while UK total sales were up 0.3 per cent like for like for the previous three months. Bolland added that the group expects to return to growth ahead of its peak trading period.

M&S overhauled its website and digital properties in February.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis