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Drapers Top 100 2017 – 27. Steve Rowe and Archie Norman, chief executive and chairman, Marks & Spencer


Steve rowe 01

Steve Rowe

Archie norman m&s

Archie Norman

Marks & Spencer has come under fire again this year for failing to return its fashion business to sustainable growth. Like-for-like sales in clothing and home slipped 0.7% for the 26 weeks to 30 September, compared with same half  in 2016. Group revenue was up 2.6% to £5.1bn, but profit before tax and adjustments fell 5.3% to £219.1m.

In a bid to turn its fortunes around, M&S has enlisted retail veteran Archie Norman, who joined as chairman in September. He appears to have taken a firm grip of the reins. At its results presentation in November, he said M&S needed to be “more commercial, agile and faster”.

Chief executive Steve Rowe, meanwhile, has insisted “good progress” has been made in the clothing and home division over the last 18 months. The retailer is in the first phase of a five-year plan. This is not the first turnaround strategy for the high street stalwart in recent years, but Norman’s hands-on approach may be just what M&S needs.

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