M & S clothing boss exits after shock results

M & S head of general merchandise Kate Bostock has left the company, after the retailer saw a decline of 6.8 percent in like for like sales for the segment in Q1 of 2012/13.

Bostock reportedly does not have a position to go to, but sources claim that she departed on amicable terms. She will be replaced in her role by the retailer’s head of food, John Dixon.

A series of adjustments to senior management structure have taken place in the aftermath of the Q1 results announcement.

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The company has also hired Belinda Earl, the former head of Debenhams and Jaeger, as the company’s first ever ‘style director’.

She will work for two or three days a week advising Dixon on fashion. Steve Rowe, head of retail, has been promoted to head of food.

On the changes, M & S chief executive Marc Bolland said: “General Merchandise underperformed in a difficult trading season. We are confident we are taking the necessary steps to address this.

“John has done an outstanding job in running the food division over the past four years. He has delivered consistent growth through meeting our customer’s desire for quality and innovation. He is the right person to take over the running of our General Merchandise division. He will be working closely in his new role with Belinda. She is a highly experienced retailer and her product knowledge and judgement will complement John’s expertise. We are delighted that she has chosen to join us in this new role.

M & S chairman Robert Swannell added: “The appointments announced today are part of our continuing programme to strengthen and broaden the range of skills and expertise that we have within our business. They combine the continuing development of some of our most talented people as well the addition of fresh expertise from outside. On behalf of all my Board colleagues I am delighted to be welcoming Steve Rowe to the Board and to express our appreciation for the significant contribution that Kate has made.

M & S’ strongest performing categories in the past few weeks included hosiery, jackets and coats. The retailer also saw a good performance in Indigo and schoolwear.





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