Half-year online sales at Marks & Spencer
were up 29 per cent from last year. Total sales for the 26 weeks
to 26th September were £4.34 billion, an increase of 2.8
per cent for the first half of the previous year, with UK sales up
1.8 per cent. Profit before tax inched downward 0.4 per cent, to
£306.7 million. The retailer plans to roll out its
click-and-collect service, which allows customers to order online
and pick up their purchases in-store, to all of its stores after
Christmas; the service is currently available for 166 stores.
Fashion and home goods merchant Next
reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter ended
31st October. Overall sales rose 3.1 per cent over last year’s,
with direct sales up 5.1 per cent, while retail like-for-likes
were down just 1.3 per cent. As a result, the company has revised
its projections for the second half of the fiscal year. It now
expects web and catalogue sales for the period to be up 4-6
per cent compared with the second half of last year, whereas in
September it had projected growth of no more than 2 per cent.
Half-year sales at fashion cataloguer/retailer White
Stuff rose a whopping 47 per cent from last year,
according to the
Financial Times. Even better, EBITDA rose 70 per cent. Much
of the revenue growth came from the opening of roughly one new
store a month.