Marc Bolland will step down as the boss of Marks & Spencer in April, bringing an end to six difficult years at the British retailer following yet another weak Christmas. Hayley Platt reports.
He was hired to turnaround the fortunes of one of Britain's best-loved high street retailers. But after another set of weak Christmas sales, M&S boss Marc Bolland is heading for the door. He's retiring in April after six years at the helm. Investors seemed to approve - M&S shares rose almost 1 percent after the announcement - before falling back. But IG's Alastair McCaig said he'd didn't do a bad job. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG, MARKETS ANALYST, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "A six year tenure is a fairly acceptable time and certainly he leaves with the share price at a premium from where he took over." After decades of underinvestment, Bolland spent billions of pounds on redesigning products, stores and its website. It's food division is one winner, this Christmas was its best ever. But its general merchandise division failed to deliver. Sales there fell 5.8 percent. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG, MARKETS ANALYST, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "The food retail side has always been a model that has been particularly well liked and has had a very loyal consumer base. The clothing retail on the other hand has gone through ebbs and flows." M&S put the deterioration down to unusually warm weather, deterring shoppers from splashing out on winter wear. But John Lewis - another British favourite - reported a 6.9 percent rise in Christmas sales. That's something the new M&S boss Steve Rowe must now aspire to. He's been with the firm for more than two decades running both food and clothing divisions.