Only last week Bill Myers, the outspoken (not to say brave) food retailing analyst at Henderson Crosthwaite, said Sir Richard's handling of the company's results meeting in May was 'a masterpiece of issue avoidance'.
In an investment circular, Mr Myers went on to describe the demeanour of the tennis-playing knight, who was more than a little crotchety that day, as 'almost menacing'.
However, pounds 635,000-a-year Sir Richard may soon have good news for one section of the Square Mile - those who patronise the two overcrowded M&S stores there. The Moorgate shop is a particular problem: sandwiches excellent, queues diabolical. Even Sir Richard says it's an embarrassment.
M&S is said to be eyeing a site on Cheapside at the corner of Queen Street with a view to opening a five-storey store. The site, which would require a change in planning consent, is next to Peter Palumbo's proposed office scheme at 1 Poultry.
Nothing on the dotted line yet, though. 'We're still looking at a number of sites in the City and we haven't signed anything with anybody,' says an adamant M&S spokeswoman.
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