Marks & Spencer CEO Steve Rowe has said shopping habits and the retail business could be permanently changed due to coronavirus.
Rowe made the comments as the retailer revealed its annual financial statement.
“Whilst some customer habits will return to normal others have changed
forever.” Rowe reflected.
“The trend towards digital has been accelerated, and changes to the shape of the high street brought forward.”
Rowe also said that working habits have been transformed due to the global pandemic.
Now the company can work in a leaner and faster way Rowe added.
In response to the new conditions, he said that he would create a agile business in a different world.
Profits Fall Due to Coronavirus
Marks & Spencer’s profits before tax and adjusting items fell by just over 21% to £403.1 million.
The onset of Covid-19 and lockdown was pinpointed as the main reason for the drop in proceeds.
Profits after tax also fell to £27.4 million from £45.3 million last year.
A decline of a considerable 39.5%.
Food Outperforms Clothing
Marks & Spencer’s food sales increased over the past year by 1.9%.
While clothing suffered a fall of 6.2%.
Food revenue was actually boosted by 0.3% in March, as coronavirus took its grip.
The profits reflect the restructuring of the retailer’s food business over an 18 month period.
Business growth has been accelerated by new low price lines.
The launch of ‘Remarksable’ value and “Fresh Market Special’ products, many at 65 pence, has attracted customers.
New health product ranges also boosted sales.
Marks & Spencer’s clothing range was hampered by coronavirus.
Overall a 2.2% of the drop in activity was attributed to Covid-19.
Before the virus hit the UK, sales in womenswear was encouraging.
As its lingerie selection held on to its market leading share.
Menswear also saw increasing sales.