Marks & Spencer ‘missing Chinese sales targets

M&S has 14 stores in China, including one on the upmarket West Nanjing Road in Shanghai, and has identified the country as a key overseas market for growth.

However, it is understood that sales at the company’s stores in China have been up to 30pc lower than internal targets set by executives.

M&S declined to comment on its internal targets in China, but claimed the stores are “trading well”.

Earlier this month, the 129-year-old retailer warned it had suffered a 3.8pc fall in like-for-like sales in the run-up to Christmas in the UK, which was well below City expectations.

M&S was forced to issue the sales figures the evening before they were scheduled after the key sales figures were leaked.

In the Christmas trading update, M&S said international sales rose 4.1pc.

The company did not break down sales for individual countries, but said its performance had been impacted by currency movements and “macro-economic weakness” in Ireland and Greece.

Marc Bolland, chief executive, said M&S’s key international markets of India and China “continued to trade well”.

When Mr Bolland took charge of M&S in 2010 he set out a three-year strategy to develop the retailer into an “international multi-channel retailer”.

Shares in the company fell by 2.7, or 1pc, to 381.6p on Monday.


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