In the year 2008 however the company has faced low levels of sales in the Christmas season. “The company suffered a decline of 2.2% in like-for-like sales inGreat Britain, despite the growth in volume and footfall. Marks & Spencer’s Internet sales had increased by 78%, while international sales had increased by 20% of the total business” (‘Marks & Spencer: Christmas trading update disappoints’, 2008).
This can largely be attributed to the recession in America and Europe that has been caused by the meltdown of the financial markets early on in the year The reducing employment levels in UK, the high cost of living and the low level of income and insecurity in the economy have led to reduced consumption amongst the target market for marks and Spencer. This however is not just true for Marks & Spencer as generally the consumer confidence in Christmas shopping and spending was low resulting in low revenues in the overall retail market. “Despite holding two discount days in the run up to Christmas, home sales plummeted at Marks & Spencer PLC in recent weeks. Home sales fell by 23.3% in the six weeks to January 1, 2005 and by 25.2% in the 13 weeks to January 1, 2005. But it was not the only chain to experience disappointing trading. Allders PLC reported a 2% drop in sales in the six weeks to January 1, 2005 with a poor pre-Christmas performance.” (‘M&S was not alone in poor winter sales performance’, 2005)