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Saturday 07 December 2019

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M&S clothing and home boss resigns

Written by Hannah McGrath
12/07/2019

Marks & Spencer’s clothing and home managing director Jill McDonald has stepped down after two years in the role.

The High Street retailer announced that Steve Rowe, chief executive of M&S would take on direct oversight of the clothing and home division, given its strategic importance to the business.

Announcing the change of management, M&S did not disclose the exact reasons for McDonald’s departure, but there had been speculation she was considering stepping down after the company posted declining non-food sales in its most recent results.

Clothing and home sales at the retailer were down 1.6 per cent on a year-on -year basis in the year to April, with the retailer increasingly focussed on the growth of its online business, which now accounts for 33 per cent of total UK clothing and home revenue, compared to 19 per cent last year.

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

“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.”

He added: “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.”

The company has embarked on a wide-ranging transformation plan involving 120 store closures by 2023 and investment in its online presence as it seeks to make cost savings of £100 million.

Announcing the trading update in May, Rowe commented: “M&S is changing faster than at any time in my career - substantial changes across the business to our processes, ranges and operations and this has constrained this year’s performance, particularly in clothing and home.”


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