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Andrea Felsted

The Good Ship M&S Never Had It Better

Britain’s retail stalwart emerged from Covid in excellent shape. Unfortunately, the good times are coming to an end.

Good times.

Good times.


“Never the same again” was the name Marks & Spencer Group Plc gave to its effort to transform in the wake of Covid-19. But perhaps “Never had it so good” would have been more apt.

As the high-street bellwether emerged from the pandemic, it benefited from consumers’ pent-up demand and the failure of a raft of rivals. Add in shoppers’ appetites rebounding much stronger than expected, leading to fewer markdowns, and the success of Ocado Group Plc’s retail arm, of which M&S owns half, and it’s little wonder that M&S pre-tax profit before one-time charges jumped tenfold to £522.9 million ($655 million) in the year to April 2 from £50.3 million in the previous year.