M&S clothing & home boss Jill McDonald resigns

Jill McDonald
(Pic credit: PA Wires)
// M&S confirms that clothing & home manager director Jill McDonald is leaving
// She has been in the role for almost two years
// Chief executive Steve Rowe will take over her responsibilities for the near term

M&S has confirmed speculation that its clothing & home managing director Jill McDonald has resigned.

McDonald, who led the bellwether retailer’s non-food division, will be leaving the business after nearly two years in the role.

M&S did not make it clear as to why McDonald was leaving, although recent news reports indicated that McDonald was on the verge of resigning after the retailer’s non-food arm posted another set of declining sales.

M&S said chief executive Steve Rowe will be taking over the leadership of clothing & home directly in the near term.

“Jill was brought in to establish a strong platform for the transformation of the Clothing and Home business,” Rowe said in a statement.

“She has achieved that; she leaves with my thanks and good wishes for the future.

“She has recruited a talented team, improved the quality and style of product and set a clear direction for the business to attract a younger family age customer.

“The business now needs to move on at pace to address long-standing issues in our clothing and home supply chain around availability and flow of product.

“Given the importance of this task to M&S I will be overseeing this programme directly.”

When McDonald was first appointed to the role in October 2017, M&S said she would be responsible for the overall profit and loss accountability in all aspects of its non-food arm, a division of the business which has been struggling in recent years compared to its food arm.

Prior to M&S, McDonald was chief executive of Halfords.

In the year to March 30, M&S’s overall profit before tax declined for the third straight year, dropping 9.9 per cent year-on-year to £523.2 million – while group revenues also dropped three per cent to £10.37 billion.

This included a 1.8 per cent decline in UK sales, with clothing & home like-for-like sales down by 1.6 per cent.

While the food division also endured a 2.3 per cent drop in like-for-like sales, its total sales fared better.

Total clothing & home sales fell by 3.6 per cent year-on-year, compared to a 0.6 per cent slip in total food sales.

M&S is currently in the midst of a major transformation scheme, which includes scores of store closures – especially clothing & home stores – and a deceleration of its Simply Food expansion.

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  1. Disturbed to hear that Steve Rowe is taking over Jill McDonald’s role after her resignation. Don’t think he’s the person for the job. I suppose he will now be doing a lot more to earn his recent megabucks payout.

  2. On of the man challenges is for the likes of M&S to compete with wholly on line stores, who pay an order of magnitude less in business rates than high street stores. This is one of the root causes of high street decline in the UK and needs to be fixed by the goverment, who have , as we know been mired in the Brexit farse.


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