Jim Armitage: It's too early to ask for money back on Steve Rowe at M&SComments Off on Jim Armitage: It's too early to ask for money back on Steve Rowe at M&S
From the doom-laden reactions of some retail experts earlier, you’d have thought M&S’s new chief executive should be taken straight back for a refund.
Steve Rowe’s first three months, they said, showed his reign was disappointing, wrong-headed and destined for failure.
Well, hold on a minute.
True, the figures weren’t great. But 5% of the 8.9% clothing and home sales decline was due to Rowe’s strategy of cutting prices and delaying the seasonal sale until two days ago.
We won’t know for a long time if his policy of bringing everyday M&S prices down to Next’s levels translates into a stronger business.
The hope is that more people will buy more stuff.
Over the quarter, M&S did sell about 25% more items than a year ago. Given Brexit and the weather, that doesn’t look quite so bad, after all.