M&S and WH Smith join Sainsbury’s at bottom

High-street institutions Sainsbury’s, WH Smith and Marks & Spencer all fared poorly in this week’s Reputation Monitor.

Sainsbury’s propped up the table again following claims it could lose 100,000 customers by the end of 2004 and the issuing of its third profit warning this year.

WH Smith was in the bottom five on the back of reports of its worst-ever trading results.

M&S plummeted to second from bottom after analysts cut their full-year profit forecasts for the company and reports that it had slipped behind Asda, Next and Tesco in kids’ clothes.

In contrast, Arcadia enjoyed one of its best weeks yet, with the group and its Bhs chain in the top five.

Coverage compared owner Philip Green’s success with M&S’s performance.

Last week’s top two – Asda and Tesco – retained their placings. Top-placed Asda gained favourable coverage of initiatives to combat anti-social behaviour and employee perks.

It was reported that Tesco could extend into the Japanese market and deliver an £8m handout to schools for computer equipment. Meanwhile, LA Fitness came sixth after opening a specialist weight-loss centre.

Reputation Monitor is compiled by Thomson Intermedia’s National News Index, a measure of media sentiment that excludes stock market reports and passing mentions.

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