Marks & Spencer is to introduce two new womenswear ranges – petite and maternity – as part of chief executive Stuart Rose’s plans to get the retailer back on track.
He has also unveiled plans to boost its Classics range by taking it more upmarket, and its Plus range, which is aimed at the larger woman, by extending the depth of the offer. The revamped ranges will appear in stores from February. The maternity and petite ranges will be launched respectively at Easter and next autumn. M&S is also to undertake further research into what customers want.
The changes were unveiled by Rose at a presentation of the retailer’s interim results on Tuesday. He also revealed senior management changes, including the departure of board member Maurice Helfgott, executive director of menswear, childrenswear and home, and of finance director Alison Reed.
The trading team now includes Kate Bostock as director of womenswear, Matt Hudson as director of lingerie and beauty, Andrew Skinner as director of menswear, Fiona Holmes as director of childrenswear, Steve Rowe as interim director of home, Guy Farrant as food trading director and interim director of food, and Anthony Thompson as director of retail.
M&S is also reducing the number of sub-brands in store, as well as the number of food lines and products included in its home catalogue.
Group profit before tax and exceptional items for the 26 weeks to October 2 were &£292.7m, down from &£325.1m. UK Retail sales were also down 0.4 per cent at &£3.3bn, but sales on a like-for-like basis were down four per cent.