Sagging Sales Slam Britain's Retailers

Shares of Marks & Spencer got clobbered after the bellwether chain reported weak holiday sales, and dragged down other retailers with it

Shares of Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) lost a fifth of their value on Jan. 9 on news that sales fell 2.2% at its British stores open at least a year during the 13 weeks ended Dec. 29, compared to the year-earlier period. It was the first drop in two and a half years and it surprised analysts, who had expected revenues at Britain's largest clothing retailer to grow more than 1%.

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