Opinion: Tacky ads won't help M&S reach £12bn food sales

MS Food sponsors BGT

Marks & Spencer has long been a tale of two halves, with grocery on a seemingly unstoppable run while clothing and home floundered.

The food arm of the ailing department store business had previously been its star performer, with sales continuing to rise even as its clothing arm sank to new depths. But that poster child came to a sudden halt in 2017 and M&S has been trying to shore it up ever since.

Major new appointments aimed at arresting failure include Stuart Machin, previously of Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, as managing director of food, and Samantha Hornsby from Tesco as head of food online, who together form a strong strategic backbone to the retailer’s desire to return to profitable growth in grocery.

The addition of lauded former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King, who was responsible as boss of M&S Food for the launch of the Simply Food convenience format in the early 2000s, further strengthens the team.

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