Blog: Dean BestIs Sir Stuart's optimism misplaced?

Dean Best | 5 November 2008

Sir Stuart Rose, the boss of UK retailer Marks and Spencer, is nothing if not a confirmed optimist.

At the press briefing on M&S's half-year results, the company's executive chairman was determined to look for positives despite the fall in the retailer's profits and deepening concern over the state of the UK economy.

While he admitted that the economic downturn has affected M&S across food and clothing, and while he acknowledged that trading remained “volatile”, Sir Stuart insisted that M&S should stick to its guns and be proud of its position as a “quality foods” retailer.

Nevertheless, he was quick to emphasise that M&S was competing more fiercely on price in a bid to win over consumers looking for a value.

“We're now cheaper than Waitrose and we're on a par with Sainsbury’s on some prices,” he claimed.

When pushed on how M&S prices stacked up versus those at Waitrose, Sir Stuart stood by his guns, insisting that his products would win out as cheaper against those of his rival. “Let's get our products on the table and we can have a good punch-up,” he joked, referring to his Waitrose counterpart Mark Price.

Joking aside, M&S will face an ongoing battle to win over consumers convinced that its products are too expensive. Moreover, with the company's moves to lower prices and continue its promotional activity, there will be continued pressure on margins, which could ultimately lead to some pain for suppliers.


BLOG

General Mills trials new way of buying Haagen-Dazs

On Friday (7 September), ice-cream lovers in part of central London were able to order Häagen-Dazs on their phones - and have it delivered directly to them, wherever they were....

BLOG

just-food closed on Monday 27 August

As I type, grey skies cover south-east London, with drizzle hitting the windows - but the forecast is set fairer for tomorrow when the country has its final public holiday before Christmas Day....

BLOG

If Kraft Heinz passed on Pinnacle, it should do so with Campbell

It's almost 18 months since Unilever rebuffed Kraft Heinz and, ever since, the rumour mill has spun over where the US manufacturer could look next. It's been reported today (2 August) the ketchup make...



Forgot your password?