News

Marks & Spencer has joined retailers trying to lure shoppers on to the high street before Christmas with plans for a flash sale across its stores tomorrow.

M&S boss sees 28% jump in pay package

Marks & Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose saw his total pay package jump 28 per cent last year despite a 40 per cent fall in profits at the retail giant, it was disclosed today.

Mystery shoppers put M&S at the bottom of their list

The news for Sir Stuart Rose, the chief executive of Marks & Spencer, just gets more and more miserable. In a new mystery-shopping survey, Prophet, the brand strategists, found that shoppers put Middle England's once-favourite shop firmly at the bottom of a list of 11 supermarket groups. Based on mystery-shopping research over the past two months and published tomorrow, Prophet's shoppers put Waitrose as the top supermarket in terms of customer expectations. They were asked to grade the shops – Waitrose was 4.5, Asda, 3.3, Aldi made 3.2 but M&S was 2.5, below the expected level of 3. Prophet's Vanessa Cohen said: "The research is not saying that the customer experience at M&S is below average, but that the customer experience is not as good as it should be."

Jeremy Warner: Dividend cut highlights M&S board's failings

Outlook What a shame the dividend decision at Marks & Spencer doesn't conform with the slogan of its transformation programme – "doing the right thing". Directors have done very much the wrong thing in slashing the dividend by a third, but please don't call it a cut. Rather, this is simply a question of "re-basing" so as to provide "a stronger foundation for moving forward". OK, so these things are in the end a matter of judgement and Sir Stuart Rose, the chairman, may be right in thinking he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. If he'd held or increased the dividend, he might have been accused of hubris and recklessness. But somehow I doubt it, and there was evident disappointment in the stock market yesterday, where, after an admittedly good run, the shares fell back by nearly 10 per cent.

M&S slashes dividend as succession plan suffers setback

Chief executive warns of a deterioration in margins

M&S agree to abandon price uplift on big bras

Marks & Spencer hoisted the white flag in the "Battle of the Bust" yesterday, agreeing to stop charging a premium for big bras to placate an internet campaign by busty women.

Jeremy Warner: Has the tide turned for M&S? Dividend decision will tell it all

Outlook Once the City's pin-up boy, Sir Stuart Rose, chairman and chief executive of Marks & Spencer, has had his fair share of brickbats since the downturn on the high street first started to bite a year and a half ago. Might yesterday, when the group was able to announce that it had been swimming against the recessionary tide rather more strongly than anyone thought, have marked a turning point in his fortunes?

Asda promotes Clarke in top team reshuffle

Asda, the UK’s second-largest grocer, has promoted Andy Clarke to chief operating officer, as it simplifies the structure of its senior executives.

Leading article: A retail sector in need of therapy

At a time of rising unemployment and widespread economic misery, it feels perverse to be poring over the performance of our large retailers in the Christmas shopping frenzy. But we need to pay attention to these sales figures because, like it or not, our national economic health relies heavily on retail spending, and Christmas is the biggest annual selling period. The behaviour of consumers at this time of year is a good guide to what is to come for the wider economy.

M&S fights for custom amid slump in sales

Retail giant unveils second sale as trade plummets by 19 per cent

M&S slashes prices to beat downturn

Marks & Spencer will tomorrow hold a one-day 20 per cent off sale amid further signs of anxiety over the downturn in consumer spending.

A tale of two retailers

Marks & Spencer may have found itself on the wrong end of the consumer slowdown, but just across the road at Primark, business is still booming, reports James Thompson

Jeremy Warner: Downturn bites hard at Marks & Spencer

Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Marks & Spencer, is no quitter, but he must occasionally wonder why he didn't quietly bow out earlier this year while he still had the chance. Instead, he not only incurred the wrath of shareholders by elevating himself to the executive chairmanship, but by doing so he has ensured he is still at the helm as the ship sails into the recessionary storm. Already the impact on sales and profits is brutal.

Interior design gets all dirty on us

Annie Deakin gets accosted by sex-obsessed Philippe Starck and debates the tasteful art of the erotic

M&S aims to cut maximum redundancy payout

Retail giant Marks & Spencer today confirmed plans to cut back redundancy benefits for its 70,000 UK staff.

One in four M&S shareholders fails to support Rose

Nearly one in four Marks & Spencer shareholders refused to back executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose at the eagerly anticipated annual meeting yesterday, sending a clear signal that they want to see an improved performance in certain areas.

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