Marks & Spencer has warned that its poor sales will continue in the near future as it struggles to redesign its old-fashioned stores and unclear website and sell more of what people want to buy at a fair price.
Steve Rowe, the group's chief executive, said he "will not turn things around" to push ahead with the company's transformation plan, which includes closing 100 stores over the next few years.
Honestly, Rowe said the culture of M & S was "muted, slow and hierarchical."
"Reading M & S's latest half-year results is like a cold shower," said one analyst
Most of the company's results met expectations. In the six months to the end of September, retailer's food and apparel sales declined, while pre-tax profit rose 2 percent to £ 223.5 million.
M & S accused an early Easter, lowering prices for 100 everyday products and "complex and confusing" promotions for sinking food sales.
Sales of apparel and housewares fell 2.7 percent as a result of the strategy of closing lower performing stores and reducing retail space for non-food items. Like-for-like sales decreased by 1.1 percent.
Overall, food sales declined by 0.2 percent, while sales on a like-for-like basis decreased 2.9 percent.
The retailer's high-end grocery store is facing fierce competition from greats like Aldi and Lidl, who are rapidly introducing the brand's best private label brands to compete with M & S.
Founded in 1884, the retailer is driving plans to revitalize its online presence, offering buyers a better user experience than online competitors like Amazon.
David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets, said, "A push towards e-commerce would keep up with consumer habits and would be far more cost effective. The long-term goal is to achieve one-third of online sales and to have fewer household goods and large clothing stores in better locations. "
Sales of food dropped: Food sales declined by a total of 0.2 percent, according to M & S results
M & S's open remarks about how much it needs to change come in a brutal year for British high street.
If you look at your own weaknesses and mistakes, M & S will be all too aware that Toys R Us, Maplin and Poundland have collapsed this year.
New Look underwent a restructuring and House of Fraser was added to the administration, but was later snatched by retail magnate Mike Ashley.
"In the last budget, Phillip Hammond announced some initiatives to support the main street, but it was mainly for small shops, and maybe it was too late," said the analyst Madden.
Must be changed: Mr. Rowe said the culture of M & S is "quiet, slow and hierarchical".
While the status of the M & S stores, website and product lines is often in the headlines, the company is also a FTSE 100 company.
Lee Wild, head of Interactive Investor's equity strategy, commented on the outlook for M & S investors, some of whom will have been involved in the company for many years -monthly downtrend and flat during the FTSE 100 over the past two days , M & S has risen by over 7 percent.
"Further gains will depend on Marks successfully coping with the decline in sales and providing further evidence that they keep their promises."
David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets, said, "The balance sheet is still robust, but investors will have to wait for the restructuring program, which should be beneficial to the retailer in the long term."
Tom Stevenson of Fidelity Personal Investing said, "Reading M & S's latest half-year results is like a cold shower. The company is ruthlessly honest about the enormous challenge it faces.
"The outlook remains unchanged, so shareholders can expect a full year with slightly lower underlying earnings, with the expectation that there will be another difficult 12 months thereafter. The good news is that the interim dividend has been maintained.
"This is still the main reason to own Marks & Spencer shares. A return of more than 6 percent, which is reasonably well-covered by the expected returns and thus more secure than most dividend income at this level, is attractive in a low-interest environment. The income story gives M & S time to steer its ambitious recovery plan. "
M & S has maintained its dividend and shareholders will receive a payout of 6.8p per share in January.
M & S shares are currently down 3.8 percent or 11.5 percentage points to 291 percentage points.
M & S boss outlines future plans
M & S boss Steve Rowe says he'll change every aspect of the business
In the company's half-year results, Steve Rowe, Group Chief Executive said: "In May, in our presentation 'Facing the Facts', I outlined the challenges and steps we took in this first phase transformation program.
"Against the background of profound structural change in our industry, we do not shy away from one another, reshaping our business, organization and culture.
"This phase is about rebuilding the foundations of future M & S, and we judge progress as much by the pace of change as the trading results.
"We have been a family of strong companies with the biggest change in our structure for decades. We now have a largely new, very determined and energetic management team. M & S is developing faster, more commercially and digitally.
"We are well on the way to restructuring our store portfolio with more than 100 full closures, and we expect to open new stores next year. We are correcting the basics of our online channel and there are very early signs of improvement. Every aspect of our assortment, how we act, our supply chain and our marketing are constantly reviewed and changed. "
Fluctuations: The price development of the M & S share has changed in the past year