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Gloucestershire Business News

M&S Christmas sales slump

Marks and Spencer sales fell over the Christmas period, while Tesco reported record sales.

M&S said like-for-like sales fell 1.4 per cent in the 13 weeks to 30th December, as reported by the BBC.

The company, which has stores in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Cirencester, is still the UK's biggest clothing retailer, but it saw clothing and homeware sales fall by 2.8 per cent. Traditionally, families like to spend more on luxury food for Christmas and food has been seen as the company's most successful sector, but sales were down 0.4 per cent.

Shares in the company fell by 5.6 per cent in response to the news.

Steve Rowe, chief executive said: "M&S had a mixed quarter with better Christmas trading in both businesses going some way to offset a weak clothing market in October and ongoing underperformance in our food like-for-like sales."

By contrast, Britain's biggest supermarket is on the up. Tesco's UK sales rose 2.3 per cent in the 19 weeks to 6th January.

The company said it had record sales in the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

John Lewis, which is set to open in Cheltenham later this year, was another Christmas winner, reporting a rise in like-for-like sales of 3.1 per cent in the six weeks to 30th December. Its supermarket chain, Waitrose, recorded a 1.5 per cent rise compared with the same period in 2016.

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