Ir­ish stores weigh on Marks & Spencer

The Irish Times - Business - - MARKETS -

Marks & Spencer flagged dif­fi­cul­ties at its Ir­ish busi­ness in the first half of the year as it said sales across the re­tail group had fallen on poor de­mand for cloth­ing and food.

After more than a decade of failed turn­around pro­grammes, M&S is now tar­get­ing sus­tain­able, prof­itable growth in three to five years by shut­ting less suc­cess­ful stores. It warned yes­ter­day that sales were un­likely to im­prove soon. “Trad­ing con­di­tions re­main chal­leng­ing and the head­winds from the growth of on­line com­pe­ti­tion and the march of the dis­coun­ters re­main strong in all our mar­kets,” it said.

The group said trad­ing in the Repub­lic, where it has 18 out­lets, had been “dif­fi­cult”.

While it didn’t spec­ify the is­sues it was hav­ing in the Repub­lic, it noted its prob­lems were sim­i­lar to Bri­tain.

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