M&S overhauls marketing structure to fight falling sales

The reshuffle includes the hire of former Tesco marketer Sharry Cramond.

Marks & Spencer has restructured its marketing team to help combat weakening sales and support a “changing M&S”, as part of its five-year transformation plan.

The move sees the appointment of former Tesco marketer Sharry Cramond as marketing director, food and hospitality.

Cramond, who joins from Southeastern Grocers in the US, did two stints at Tesco before exiting in 2015 as part of CEO Dave Lewis’s management shake-up. She has also held senior marketing roles at Coles and Target in Australia.

As part of the reshuffle, Nathan Ansell’s role will also change from marketing director, customer and loyalty to marketing director, clothing and home.

Rob Weston completes the new line up as marketing director, brand and customer. All three will report into Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director, customer, marketing and digital.

Disappointing Christmas

Cramond’s appointment follows a disappointing performance for the retailer’s food business over the festive period, which in previous years has been relied upon to drive growth. It posted a like-for-like sales decline by 0.4%, during the 13 weeks to 30 December.

Ansell also faces a tough challenge given the retailer’s general merchandise division, which includes clothing and home, saw a 2.8% year-on-year decline in like-for-like sales during the quarter.

Despite this, total UK sales were up 1.1% to £2.85bn, in what M&S CEO Steve Rowe has described as a “mixed quarter”.

Last summer, Marketing Week columnist outlined the retailer’s growing list of problems, stating that the “reality for M&S is that it now faces structural challenges beyond even the finest management and marketing techniques”.

Bousquet-Chavanne says marketing and customer engagement will play a “significant” part in the retailer’s transformation.

“The new team structure reflects this and, coupled with our one-brand approach, will ensure that we are faster, more commercial and acutely focused on our customers.”

READ MORE: M&S wants a ‘single front door to the brand’ as it looks to promote inclusivity

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