Size of M&S task becomes apparent
Steve Rowe and Archie Norman, Marks & Spencer’s double act, are quickly discovering what the City has long feared: turning around the chain will take every ounce of their combined retail nous.
It will certainly take more than a new clothing range curated by television presenter Holly Willoughby after yet another fall in both like-for-like clothing and food sales and little improvement in the forecast for the coming months, a gloomy Rowe has told the stock market.
Indeed, he has opened the door to another iteration of its store-closure plan, having already increased the target from 30 to 60 to 100 at the last count in May. It may not be “job done”, Rowe confessed.
The store-closure plan is proving massively costly. Another £150m of charges are expected on top of £320m already booked, virtually wiping out full-year profits. Welcome to the brutal world of modern retailing.