Marks & Spencer cuts marketing spend as footfall drops

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

High street retailer Marks & Spencer has slashed marketing spend in anticipation of a much slower trading period while consumers practice social distancing.

In response to coronavirus fears, M&S has recognised shoppers won't be visiting shops, so having recently redeployed shop floor staff to M&S Food, it is stopping non-essential recruitment and cutting spending.

The next year will see trading "severely impacted" - so it is outlining contingeny plans that may see some outlets of Marks & Spencer "close temporarily".

The shop has also cancelled £100 million worth of clothing orders - effectively stopping its Spring campaign ahead of time.

M&S said in a statement: “We are reducing non-essential spending at all levels, freezing non-essential recruitment and reducing marketing spend.”

Commenting on its potential closures and pause on buying, it said: “There will be a substantial impact on clothing and home revenue at the very least in the first three to four months of the next financial year. Although it is possible that this may ease as we get into summer trading, margins are likely to be severely impacted by the surplus of unsold seasonal stock and probable clearance activity in the marketplace.

"We are therefore taking all possible steps to defer supply. At this stage we are not assuming a return to normal trading in the autumn.”