M&S shareholders urge new top team to boost apparel sales –
// A major M&S shareholder has urged M&S’s new top-flight team to boost apparel sales
// M&S food chief executive Stuart Machin was named chief executive this week, and Katie Bickerstaffe was named joint chief executive, as current boss Steve Rowe revealed plans to step down in May.
Marks & Spencer shareholders have warned its new management team that it needs to improve its sartorial performance after unveiling its unusual new ‘co-chief executive’ management structure last week.
The structure was unveiled as existing boss Steve Rowe revealed he would step down in May, with current food doctor Stuart Machin named new chief executive and Katie Bickerstaffe named co-chief executive. Although the pair share a job title, Bickerstaffe will report to Machin, who will assume day-to-day management responsibilities.
A big investor told the Sunday Times that while the management team at M&S had a big impact and it was important to retain them, it was important that Bickerstaffe and General Manager of Apparel and Home Richard Price improved fashion sales.
READ MORE: Meet the new M&S bosses: Stuart Machin and Katie Bickerstaffe profiled
Over the past 18 months, M&S has boosted clothing sales by selling third-party brands such as Joules, Phase Eight and Nobody’s Child, that’s a lower margin than its own ranges.
Clothing has returned to growth in recent months. During the all-important Christmas period, sales of clothing and homes increased by 3.2%.
Click here to sign up for the free daily Retail Gazette newsletter