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.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: M&S investors show prowess by abstaining

If you don't do what we want, we'll jolly well go and, er, er, abstain. The big investment institutions are proving their usual feeble selves in registering no more than a protest vote about Sir Stuart Rose's elevation to the chairmanship of Marks & Spencer at this week's annual general meeting. Rather than vote against Sir Stuart's reappointment as a director, which judging by the fury some of them have expressed is what they should be doing by way of retribution, most of those not actually voting in favour will merely abstain.

M&S profit warning leaves retail sector reeling in shock

Marks & Spencer sent shockwaves through the retail sector yesterday when it unveiled a profit warning and parted company with the head of its food business.

John Walsh: Tales from Hay-on-Wye

'From his wheelchair, Gore Vidal glowered indignantly, like a man who had been exhumed against his will'

Profits pass £1bn but slowdown fears weigh on Marks & Spencer

Marks and Spencer smashed back through the £1 bn pre-tax profits barrier yesterday, but its shares tumbled as the City forecast a slowdown in profit growth and its chief executive, Sir Stuart Rose, warned of tough times ahead.

Rose: Succession could have been handled better

Sir Stuart Rose admitted that the announcement that he was taking over as chief executive and chairman of M&S next month could have been handled better.

He saved M&S. But Sir Stuart Rose will be a tough act to follow

With challenging times ahead, the high-street giant needs to find a successor to Sir Stuart Rose – as soon as it can. Judi Bevan reports

M&S offers olive branch in row over Rose's elevation

Marks & Spencer is refusing to compromise after extensive discussions with shareholders over the elevation of its chief executive, Sir Stuart Rose, to the position of executive chairman.

M&S squares up to angry investors

Retailer seeks support of shareholders after boss is created executive chairman

Investors attack M&S plan to make Rose chairman

Shareholders in Marks & Spencer called into question the retailer's decision to promote its chief executive, Sir Stuart Rose, into the role of executive chairman as part of a sweeping management shake-up at the group yesterday.

M&S's Rose to become chairman and stay until 2011

Marks and Spencer boss Stuart Rose has pledged to stay with the British stores group for an extra two years as part of a management reorganisation which also strengthens finance chief Ian Dyson's position as number two.

Leading article: People power

It is possible to detect a climate of scepticism in some quarters towards the idea that ethical consumer pressure can effect real change in our society. Whether the issue is carbon emissions or developing world sweatshops, it is never hard to find someone (and they can be on the left or the right) who will argue that any individual action we take as consumers is pointless and that only intervention at a governmental level can change things.

M&S to charge for plastic bags

Retailer Marks and Spencer is to charge food customers 5p for every plastic carrier bag they use, the store chain said today.

Philip Hensher: Sock it to 'em, Paxo – you're fighting for us all

Jeremy Paxman has found himself speaking for the nation, in an area where spokesmen often prefer to remain anonymous. He wrote, in a personal capacity, to Stuart Rose, the chairman of Marks & Spencer, on the subject of underwear and socks. Mr Paxman, like many of us, had long been buying his essentials from Marks & Spencer, but recently had begun to find that the quality was not what it used to be. In Mr Paxman's words, the pants no longer offered "adequate support". He did not feel that he was alone in this; raising the under-discussed subject with his friends, he uncovered what he called "widespread gusset anxiety".

The Third Leader: Brief encounters

It is not surprising that, given its subject matter, Jeremy Paxman intended his private email exchange with the head of Marks & Spencer to be strictly confidential. M&S underpants, he disclosed, were no longer giving him – coughs and throat-clearing all round – the "degree of support" they once had. The Newsnight anchorman contacted Sir Stuart Rose personally. Marks & Spencer, despite the ups and downs in its fortunes, still sells more socks and underwear than any other retailer in the UK. So it is good to see the nation's inquisitor-in-chief focusing on this key issue, instead of remaining preoccupied with trivia like the US primaries or the state of the Chinese economy. The downside is that it has exposed him to one of the key questions of contemporary life: Y-fronts or boxers? Mr Paxman's tetchy reply – "Mind your own business" – will not wash from the man who famously repeated a question no fewer than 12 times to the Tory leader Michael Howard in the face of equivocal or evasive answers. Nor will it do for him to insist that he is being misrepresented by the media. Yes, it is true that the bulk of his concerns were on non-gusset issues; he was asking why M&S socks wore out more quickly at the big toe, even for those, like Paxman, who clip their toenails "very rigorously". But clearly the real news point was the pants issue.

Paxman raises the big issue for British men: do M&S pants give enough support?

Jeremy Paxman is not known for staying silent when vexed by an issue. Having finally despaired of what he says is the declining quality of Marks & Spencer underpants and socks, the Newsnight host finds himself a reluctant flag-bearer for the legions of British men being let down by sub-standard briefs.

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Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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