Marks & Spencer despide a la jefa de la moda Jill McDonald
Marks & Spencer has expelled their head of clothing and home, Jill McDonald, who spent two years trying to turn the division into difficulties.
Chief Executive Steve Rowe will take over from Ms. McDonald in the short term.
He said the company needed to “address the long-standing problems in our clothing and home supply chain around the availability and flow of products.”
Ms. McDonald had previous senior positions at Halfords and McDonald’s.
“Her lack of skill in buying clothes and the supply chain seems to be the problem, but then the problem existed before she joined, is not it?” Global Data retail analyst Maureen Hinton tweeted.
Ms. McDonald joined Marks & Spencer in the fall of 2017 when she began a major change plan, which has seen the stores close and modernize her administration. The appointment of Jill McDonald was a surprise.
The former head of Halfords had been parachuted into one of the toughest jobs in retail with no experience in fashion.
We were told that she had been hired for her “first class customer knowledge” and her experience in high performance teams. In the end, that was not enough.
Marks & Spencer has not yet solved the basics in regards to its important clothing business.
Availability, for example, is still a big problem. It is clear that he has not been able to move fast enough to address his long-term problems.
Now, Chief Executive Steve Rowe has once again taken direct control of this division until a successor can be found.
Despite the change plan, earnings have continued to fall, and Rowe said this week that it had been a “problematic year” for the company’s clothing and home division.
At the firm’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, he listed the main failures, including not buying enough jeans for a February promotion.
“That led us to have the worst availability of casual pants I’ve seen in my life,” he said.
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However, he also said that the clothing ranges had improved in terms of fit, style and value.
“It takes more work [to make] the right size ratios, making sure we reduce the number of lines we’re running [and] focusing on the big lines that we’re famous for throughout the UK,” he added.
Rowe said that Marks & Spencer had developed a strong clothing team, praising Jill Stanton, director of women and children, and Wes Taylor, the director of men’s clothing, who were hired in 2018.
However, he did not mention Mrs. McDonald’s name.
After several failed re-launches in the last decade, M & S, 135, faces challenges to its clothing business from fast-fashion chains like Zara and H & M.
In May, M & S reported its third consecutive year-on-year decline, and a 1.6% drop in the sale of clothing and the like. Their shares have dropped by 30% compared to the previous year.
In announcing that Ms. McDonald’s withdrew from the business, Rowe said that she had “recruited a talented team, improved the quality and style of the product and established a clear direction for the business to attract a younger client in family age” .
Ms. Hinton told the BBC that Marks & Spencer’s clothes had been losing market share for years, so whoever takes the division in the next “faces a real challenge.”
“Even those before [Ms. McDonald’s] with a solid history of clothing could not attract buyers who have left it for other retailers and brands that have much more attractive ranges and stores,” he said.
Marks & Spencer management knew that Ms. McDonald had no experience with fashion when they hired her, Ms. Hinton said.
“I would have thought there would be experience and support in the business to compensate for their lack in this area,” said Hinton.
“But it seems not, which is even more worrisome, since Marks & Spencer describes them as long-standing issues,” he added.