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TMCNet:  ECONOMICS

[July 12, 2014]

ECONOMICS

(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Marc Bolland's ability to turn around Marks & Spencer was called into question (again) last week as the good news of improving womenswear figures was overshadowed by a drop in sales at his flashy new pounds 150m website.


M&S's boss said that online sales had fallen 8% in the past three months as customers were unable to wade through the articles and videos to make purchases. The disruption is expected to last into the autumn.

The disappointment was revealed as Bolland faced investors at its AGM, when they showed their frustration after three years of falling profits and fluid promises.

They asked about the dearth of V-necked tops for women with "generous bosoms", as well as Bolland's inability to deliver his turnaround strategy on time. One shareholder said: "Let us see some actual improvement, rather than recurrent excuses." It's hard not to sympathise with that.

As this page likes pointing out, Bolland's nickname in the City is "five minutes late", on account of his schedule frequently being thrown by pauses to perfect his coiffure. Shareholders would have settled for a similar delay in his M&S renaissance.

When e-commerce goes wrong, page 39 (c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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