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Retail chiefs speak out for Sir Stuart Rose

Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green and Tesco chief executive of clothing Terry Green have spoken out in support of Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose ahead of the Marks & Spencer AGM tomorrow, at which Rose is expected to face a shareholder revolt over his proposal to take the executive chairman role.

Speaking at the annual awards ceremony for the Fashion Retail Academy this morning, Sir Philip Green said: “It would be remiss of me not to wish Sir Stuart luck for tomorrow… We need the high street to work for everybody and we need all the retailers to work together.”

Sir Philip Green admitted that trade was particularly hard at the moment. “I didn’t envisage retail would get as tough as it’s got,” he said.

Tesco’s Terry Green urged students at the ceremony not to “judge a retailer by its share price. The City love to make a drama out of every opportunity. Retail lasts a lot longer than the average life of a City broker,” he said.

“Judge a retailer by their people, by their expertise in store and what they do for their customers,” Terry Green added.

He added that students should not be put off from a career in retail by the negative headlines. “Retail is at its most exciting when its back is against the wall.”

Sir Stuart Rose joked with the students that it was “all fun from here” as they embarked upon their retail careers. Later he added that he was confident of the right result at tomorrow’s AGM. Rose said: “We’ve got a clear plan and M&S is a strong company.”

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