Home business ALEX BRUMMER: A retreat too far with Marks & Spencer

ALEX BRUMMER: A retreat too far with Marks & Spencer

For old Marks & Spencer watchers, the half-year results of the retailer are regrettable. Food sales, which have been defying gravity for years, fell by 2.9 percent on the basis of the same store and clothing and household income fell by 1.1 percent.

A retail group that had a profit of more than £ 1 billion a year ago, under Sir Stuart Rose, managed to manage only £ 126.7 million in the first half.

But what is most depressing is the dismal message from the top team of Archie Norman and Steve Rowe

By talking to M & S now, chairman Archie Norman can look for a new recovery when the return improves

By talking to M & S now, chairman Archie Norman can look for a new recovery when the return improves

By talking to M & S now, chairman Archie Norman can look for a new recovery when the return improves

Norman is proud of the turnaround he has made at Asda and ITV.

By talking to M & S now, he may want to brag about a new recovery when the return improves. He can be right when he speaks of a business vanity that must be deleted.

But when the management goes so far as to refer to M & S as a failing company, they do all those involved a huge bad service.

Successful sales seem a bit like show business. Even in today's hostile shopping environment, it is not constructive to destroy the trust of a loyal workforce, an army of dedicated private shareholders or scaring consumers and suppliers.

By placing so much emphasis on the negative risk of Norman and Rowe, the millions of people in Britain who consider a visit to M & S alienate as a rewarding experience.

The current retail portfolio, of which 75 percent has already existed for 25 years or more, needs to be renewed.

Approximately 100 stores are reserved for closure and more will follow. But why so much? A previous chief executive assured me that although there were too few players, each store was profitable.

Subsequently, what Norman considers to be of paramount importance is the opening of non-closing stores, although it is the first major British fashion store to achieve 50 percent of its sales online.

Instead of falling into bad habits of narrowing the pace, disputing the goodwill of customers, M & S should open newer stores to replace those shutters. The top team is right when he recognizes that the older customer has different ambitions towards a previous generation.

Most want more access to more modern, younger fashion. When making the adjustment there can be no sacrifice of the reputation of M & S for quality and service.

Innovation in food and freshness has been an important marker for M & S. Indeed, it currently has an open goal because of difficulties with rival Waitrose.

It should shout the chances of doing well in fresh food from the rooftops.

M & S needs to be better online, more digital, to speed up its supply chain and to adjust overlapping areas. But it will not build a recovery by alienating customers with a withdrawal from the High Street and defeating a workforce that is proud to be part of a special company.

TV times

The best way for large consumer advertisers to reach a large market in the UK is via ITV. For all advances in pay-TV, streaming services and the rest, this remains the key competitive advantage of ITV.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall is concerned that after a 2 percent increase in advertising revenues in the first nine months, supported by the World Cup, commercials could decline in the current quarter due to continued uncertainty about EU negotiations.

But what happens if, as expected, there is a deal in the coming week?

Federal Chancellor Philip Hammond said in his speech to the budget that there could be a double dividend in the form of higher growth and the release of public funds for the unforeseen circumstances on the edge of the cliff.

The demand for Pent-ups in the economy could be released and commercials could flow back.

Moreover, ITV is now protected against the vicissitudes of the advertising market through its investment in productions. The depreciation of its shares seems exaggerated.

Malay mess

Every new boss of Goldman Sachs seems to have a bad hand.

Former chairman Lloyd Blankfein had to struggle with the role of Goldman in the creation of toxic subprime products.

New boss David Solomon says it's very distressing & # 39; is that two former employees reportedly violated the law when their money raised for Malaysia financed 1MBD.

The idea that knowledge about mechanics and rewards for such a large and rich fundraising was not shared further is unlikely.

This scandal can hurt.

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