Marks & Spencer has cited the growth in home delivery of food and the migration of retail online as key factors threatening its market position, and leading to the decision to close 100 stores by 2020.
The retailer delivered full year results this morning, which showed revenues up 0.7% to £10,698.2m, but profit before tax down 62.1% to £66.8m.
M&S said changes in the High Street meant “accelerated change is the only option”, with supply chains requiring significant upgrades, to improve availability and waste in food.
It said its online capability was behind its competitors and its fulfilment centre at Castle Donington has struggled to cope with peak demand.
Food revenue increased 3.9% as M&S opened 62 new Simply Food stores, however like-for-like revenue was down 0.3%.
Everyday performance in the Food business was described as poor, with intense competition and reflecting a progressive decline in competitiveness in the core ranges.
M&S said the focus in the year ahead was on repositioning the business to be more relevant, more often to customers, with new products lines being developed which have a broad appeal to family age customers and everyday occasions.
The Simply Food opening programme has been limited to only the highest returning locations.
Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer chief executive said: n”At our half year results in November I outlined the need for accelerated change at M&S. The first phase of our transformation plan, restoring the basics, is now well under way and the actions taken have increased the velocity of change running through our business. These changes come with short term costs which are reflected in today’s results.
“There are a number of structural issues to address and we are taking steps towards fixing these. The new organisation will largely be in place by July and the team is now tackling transforming our culture to make M&S a faster, lower cost, more commercial, more digital business. This is vital as we start to leverage the strength of the M&S brand and values across a family of businesses to deliver sustainable, profitable growth in three to five years.”