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Warmest For Over 350 Years and Bonmarche Blames The Cold

Bonmarche BON. Lame excuses from the CEO of Bonmarche as he  blames the cold winter weather for a poor 4th quarter performance. Figures released today show that the winter of 2016 will have been the warmest for over 350 years, so pull the other one Mr. Butterwick.

The year got off to a good start with the January sales but then February and March became challenging because of this alleged cold winter, which the company says was unhelpful in kick starting real demand for its spring products.

Winters should be cold. We wrap up for them. They occur in January, February and the first 3 weeks of March – every year.

Like for like sales rose by 0.5% in quarter 4 (i.e. to the 26th March) and by 1% for the full year, whilst total sales for the year were up by 5.3%.

Lack of consumer confidence also affected the company’s performance and profits are expected to be at the lower end of guidance. It is not going to get any better either, with 2017 looking to be challenging and the outlook cautious. One wonders, if they are reduced to making excuses which just don’t wash, should they not be taking a look at their product range or their management.

Marks & Spencer MKS is at last going back to its roots and waking up to the fact that the number crunchers who run great swathes of British industry and commerce are not really fit for purpose. If we had relied on the number crunchers there would never have been an M&S, a Morrisons, Tesco, BHS, Premier Foods or a Sainsbury. Most of the High street was created by men with their feet on the ground and fire in their bellies, men who understood what the public wanted and gave it to them at prices they could afford.

The number crunchers have ensured that we do not have a single supermarket which can compete with Lidl or Aldi because not one of them has ever had to sell, sew or bake anything to earn a living.

The first sign of rebellion has come from Marks, whose new chief Exec.  started with the company as a Saturday boy and has been with it ever since.

He has not only thought the unthinkable but has actually had the courage to say it – Marks performance in clothing is unacceptable – and he is going to do something about it.

Marks decline started with the introduction of food departments, many, many years ago but it was and always has been primarily a clothing store, where quality and price and the customer came first. It looks like Marks may once again and at long last be being run by a shopkeeper. Long may he reign.

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