|Bid||130.30 x 0|
|Ask||130.40 x 0|
|Day's Range||130.00 - 136.46|
|52 Week Range||1.03 - 236.50|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.36|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings Date||Nov 04, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Nov 14, 2019|
|1y Target Est||294.84|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The Christmas lights are on, but few are coming to see them.That was the scene last week on Oxford Street, London’s leading retail thoroughfare, as non-essential shops in England remained closed. It’s hardly the run-up to Black Friday that retailers had hoped for. I’ve argued before that Europe is better off without the imported annual shopping frenzy. While door-busting deals are a post-Thanksgiving tradition in the U.S., there is no place for them on this side of the Atlantic. Discounts at the busiest time of the year just squander profit. European retailers should take 2020 as a sign to finally ditch the gimmick.U.K. Black Friday sales are expected to fall 20% from 2019 to 6.2 billion pounds ($8.3 billion), according to PwC, as a combination of shuttered shops, stretched delivery networks, lockdown-weary consumers and stock shortages take their toll.Although shoppers in continental Europe have been more excited about the shopping holiday over the past couple of years, sales there could also be more subdued. In France, amid an outcry from small stores, big retailers including Amazon.com Inc. and the French department store Galeries Lafayette agreed to postpone their promotions until December 4, when other non-essential retailers are widely expected to be open again.Black Friday started to appear in Europe around a decade ago, as local retailers sought to compete with Amazon. But over the past few years, British chains such as Next Plc, Marks & Spencer Group Plc and Walmart Inc.’s Asda have weaned themselves off the late-November discounting. Now there is some evidence that others are following suit.According to PwC, some 65%-70% of online retailers in the U.K., led by those in the fashion industry, were advertising promotions over the past weekend, compared with the 88% that offered discounts for Black Friday in 2019. Although markdowns could ramp up over the next few days, there are good reasons for retailers to show restraint.With the closure of non-essential shops, sales will come almost exclusively from the web. The rapid increase in online ordering has already put enormous strain on the warehouses that fulfill orders and the couriers who deliver them. Retailers will be reluctant to put anything but full-priced stock through the distribution network.Meanwhile, shuttered stores and fear of not getting gifts in time for Christmas prompted some consumers to do their holiday shopping early. That means that by the time they get to the end of this week, many may well have run out of steam. Retail chains are also suffering from some supply problems. Because of the first pandemic lockdown, they placed holiday orders later than usual. In the U.K., these shipments are only now arriving and they’re colliding with Brexit stockpiles, creating chaos at the major port of Felixstowe. Consequently, some products, such as large electrical appliances manufactured in Europe and toys such as jigsaw puzzles, games and craft kits, are in short supply.U.K. toy retailer The Entertainer is still offering its prearranged level of Black Friday deals, which began last Monday, but it has already had to substitute some products it planned to promote because the items were not available.One area where bargains might still be found is fashion, given that November is the key month for buying Christmas outfits. Demand for items like sequined party dresses has evaporated, which will likely force retailers to mark down their inventories. But even here surplus stocks may not be too big an issue. Clothing retailers were placing smaller orders for coats and cashmere sweaters in March and April, as they took a cautious view about winter buying. Given recent lockdowns, their pessimism turned out to be wise.Then there is the possibility of a surge in demand, similar to what happened over the summer, if non-essential stores manage to reopen before Christmas. In this case, sales won’t be needed to bring in those customers who didn’t shop early.That’s yet another reason for European retailers to consign Black Friday to the bargain bin of history once and for all.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Marks & Spencer Plc is back in the debt market for the first time since July 2019, but this time as a high-yield issuer.The downgraded British retailer has mandated banks to arrange a series of investor calls from Tuesday, ahead of issuing a sterling-denominated, senior unsecured bond with 5.5 years maturity, according to a person familiar with the matter who isn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be named.This will be the company’s first bond sale as a sub-investment grade issuer. Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s cut the retailer’s credit rating to one level below investment grade in March. Fitch followed in April, as the pandemic added pressure to its clothing and home divisions, only partially offset by robust online and food sales.The deal comes alongside an offer from the company to buy back its 300 million pounds ($397.1 million) of notes due in December 2021 for 106.25 pence on the pound, according to a statement on Tuesday. The bonds are quoted at 105.8 pence, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.NatWest Markets Plc is acting as global coordinator for the deals, as well as joint lead manager together with BNP Paribas SA, MUFG Securities EMEA Plc and SMBC Nikko Capital Markets Ltd, the company said in the statement.Buoying marketM&S is joining a flurry of U.K. high-yield borrowers selling debt this week, capitalizing on the upbeat tone of the credit markets following the U.S. election and positive results of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE.Building materials firm Travis Perkins Plc and utility company Thames Water Kemble Finance Plc announced sterling-denominated deals on Monday. Both were announced before the vaccine-related news, and they haven’t priced yet.Also on Monday, British gym operator PureGym Group Ltd announced it’s selling an euro-denominated bond. Initial price talk on the bond was for a 5.5% coupon and a discount to face value in the high 80% area, but the revised price talk on Tuesday looked slightly better for the company with the discount to face value in the 92-94 area, Bloomberg reported earlier.“Issuers should tap the market because demand is very impressive as we’ve seen from recent transactions from both euro and sterling accounts,” Benjamin Sabahi, head of credit research at Spread Research in Lyon, France, said by phone.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
It's been a good week for Marks and Spencer Group plc (LON:MKS) shareholders, because the company has just released...