Lifestore faces axe as Green plots fresh offer for Marks & Spencer

Stuart Rose, the new chief executive of Marks & Spencer, is preparing to ditch Lifestore, the retailer's ill-fated foray into stand-alone homeware stores.

Stuart Rose, the new chief executive of Marks & Spencer, is preparing to ditch Lifestore, the retailer's ill-fated foray into stand-alone homeware stores.

Unpublished figures, obtained by The Independent on Sunday, show the concept, launched by the recently ousted Vittorio Radice, is missing internal sales targets by up to 27 per cent. The figures are understood to have convinced Mr Rose that Lifestore in its current format has no role to play in his plans for the turnaround of M&S. He is therefore keen to pull the plug on the £14m experiment as soon as possible.

The news comes as billionaire retailer Philip Green and his advisers meet tomorrow to discuss how to structure any revised offer for M&S. Specu- lation had been growing that Mr Green, who had his first approach knocked back by former chief executive Roger Holmes, was preparing to walk away from the deal after apparently failing to win over the City.

But an insider said: "Philip does things differently but don't think for a minute that he doesn't know how to do this. Funding the bid is not the problem. What is under discussion is what price makes sense and how do you structure the bid. There are quite a lot of people still interested in the [equity] stub."

However, Mr Rose's appointment has been well received in the City. The former Arcadia boss has a good reputation and has set about introducing changes. Mr Rose is reviewing all M&S's operations. Despite taking a dim view of Lifestore, he believes that the company should still sell homeware in some guise.

Some shareholders back the move to pull the plug on the Lifestore concept. Said one: "It probably has got to go. The man who's created it has gone and there's no room for it."

A retail expert said that although Mr Rose would not be able to claw back the costs spent on Lifestore, it would be "symbolic" of the new management's intentions.

Lifestore was opened in February amid much publicity. It has one large out-of-town store in Gateshead, with another due to open in Kingston later this summer. It is understood that Mr Rose will continue with the Kingston opening, but could change the format at a later date.

Any changes that Mr Rose introduces are intended to help defend the company against Mr Green's spurned overtures. It is thought Mr Green will tomorrow discuss the possibility of increasing the cash element of any potential bid.

A new value has not been discussed, although one insider said a recent decision by a leading M&S shareholder to sell a percentage of its holding was telling.

Brandes Investment Partners, the retailer's biggest shareholder, sold several million shares over recent days, while the share price has hovered just about 360p. Mr Green has offered between 290p-310p a share in cash plus 25 per cent in the new company.

San Diego-based Brandes holds various stakes in a range of UK companies and is well known as a value investor.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn