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High Street

Marks and Spencer’s fashion boss departs

Marks and Spencer has announced the departure of Jill McDonald as managing director of clothing and home after two years in the role.

The departure follows a challenging year for the one of Britain’s largest retailers, after pre-tax profits fell by 10%, clothing and home sales fell by 3.6% year-on-year, compared with a 0.6% slip in total food sales.

The company did not make it clear why McDonald left, but it was reported earlier this week that she was on “the verge” of resignation following the decline in sales.

CEO Steve Rowe is set to take charge of the non-food arm of the company in the interim.

Rowe said: “Jill was brought in to establish a strong platform for the transformation of the clothing and home business. She has achieved that; she leaves with my thanks and good wishes for the future.

“She has recruited a talented team, improved the quality and style of product and set a clear direction for the business to attract a younger family age customer. The business now needs to move on at pace to address long-standing issues in our Clothing and Home supply chain around availability and flow of product. Given the importance of this task to M&S I will be overseeing this programme directly.”

This news comes as the company plans to close up to 100 stores by 2020, in a bid to restructure and change focus amidst a decline in sales.

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