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In a statement released last night after the markets closed, Marks & Spencer announced that it was re-organising its management structure. The emphasis of these changes was to give greater control and responsibilities to the various heads of department. The biggest winner in this looks to be Laura Wade-Grey, as she is now in charge of the company’s online revenue stream as well as UK retail.
It is hardly surprising that the retailer has decided to shake things up, as Marc Bolland’s three-year turnaround timetable has expired and the company is still seeing profits fall. At the beginning of this process there were a plethora of changes required from the UK food and clothing retailer following years of underinvestment when the company relied on its loyal consumer base. Marc Bolland has now overseen £2.3 billion worth of changes to the company, as it has battled to lower the average age of its clientele and replicate the profitability of its food division in its clothing arm.
It will be interesting to see if these latest changes help bring the required improvements, or is merely a diversion to those institutions seeking a change of leadership.
After the company posted its Q4 figures the shares had a short period of recovery before ultimately falling back. Currently, the shares are just above 12-month lows. 420p has previously been a level of support and next week’s Q1 figures will need to offer a little more to prevent this finally giving way.