May 3, 2017

M&S appoints Halfords chief to run clothing unit

Marks and Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe is to step back from running the retailer's fading clothing business, handing the baton to Halfords' chief executive Jill McDonald months after unveiling the unit's first quarter of sales growth in nearly two years. Mr Rowe opted to keep responsibility for clothing when he was promoted to CEO at the high street chain last year. January brought better news, with a 2.3 per cent increase in clothing sales. M&S is still Britain's biggest clothing retailer, but the company has struggled to adapt as laxer trade rules reinvented apparel as an international business and spawned sophisticated global contenders such as Primark and H&M. Analysis. M&S's director of womenswear, lingerie and beauty, Jo Jenkins, will move to an expanded role as clothing and beauty director, reporting to Ms McDonald.

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