Despite its many efforts in recent years to regain popularity, the retailer continues to struggle to establish a “contemporary and wearable fashion” offer, while battling against fast-fashion peers better equipped to navigate an increasingly competitive market.
Analysts at HSBC lowered their share price target from 239p to 150p and downgraded their recommendation to “reduce”, claiming M&S is not tackling this multi-year decline.
Signs of recovery in Food are offset by scarce progress in Clothing & Home (C&H), which lacks "a differentiated product offer".
Future diversification of M&S’s product offer will therefore take longer to gain traction, as the traditional supply chain will have to undergo structural changes to address its limitations.
Forecasts for profit before tax until FY22 were cut by up to 14%, due to lower like-for-like sales estimates for both Food and C&H.
Last month, the revolving boardroom door saw finance director Humphrey Singer announced his departure after only 18 months in the company, which on the same day lost its spot in the FTSE 100 having been one of the original members when it was established in 1984.
The shares were down 4% to 172.05p on Friday afternoon.