M&S promises surprises from a reshaped business

M&S customers from Northern Ireland could see higher prices if EU customs rules come into force later this year as planned
“There is no other outcome for consumers in Northern Ireland in the end other than higher prices." : M&S Chairman.
// M&S says the coronavirus pandemic has masked progress made
// Management at the retailer has now moved on from fixing the basics in the business

Marks & Spencer is emerging from the Covid-19 crisis as a very different business that will surprise people with its financial performance, chairman Archie Norman said on Tuesday.

Norman and chief executive Steve Rowe believe the pandemic has masked progress the 137-year-old retailer has made in its latest attempt at a turnaround after decades of shortcomings.

They have focused on transforming the culture in M&S, improving the quality and value of its clothing and food products, while reshaping its store estate and investing in technology and ecommerce, including a venture with online supermarket Ocado.


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“We sort of feel we’re emerging from the pandemic and lockdown, like emerging from a chrysalis, a new and reshaped business,” Norman told shareholders attending M&S’s AGM yesterday.

“We think we’re going to surprise a few people, not just hopefully with our financial performance but also with the things we do to demonstrate that M&S has really changed.”

Norman, who has been chairman since 2017 said the management had moved on from fixing the basics in the business.

“We’re now into a new phase and we’d like to think that new phase is about growth,” he said, adding this meant expanding sales and market share.

“We’re here to create a growing business, absolutely not in the business of managing decline, we’re investing for the future,” he said.

He added that the retailer was “very confident” about the year ahead.

In May, M&S reported an 88 per cent slump in 2020-21 profit but forecast a rebound in 2021-22.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Their clothing sections still look like JC Penney or K-Mart, 1970’s.
    Whenever I’m passing thru to the food hall I want to tidy the place up and move racks around.

  2. M and S don’t give yourself a gold star.
    You closed profitable smaller stores in core markets where your stores were well used. Examples are Felixstowe and Deal in Kent.

    Some stores remain tired and underinvested like Canterbury City Centre.
    The clothing is dire. Not even my mother who is 80 would buy your clothes neither would I.

    The food is not that great any more either and goes off far too quickly and is expensive for what it is.

    Homeware no longer relevant either Offer clothing people want.

    Who wants to dress like circa 1989 or 1990’s. At least in the 1980’s the clothes lasted years, were made in Britain and were good quality. Now you charge the same premium price for made in Tai wan !

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