The fall in Marks & Spencer’s share price following last week’s update and AGM shows that the retailer has some way to go to convince the City that it is on track.

The fall in Marks & Spencer’s share price following last week’s update and AGM shows that the retailer has some way to go to convince the City that it is on track.

There was a cautious welcome for the top management changes in general merchandise. After all the speculation about whether Kate Bostock was staying or leaving, it was good that there was finally clarity.

But there is some nervousness about John Dixon’s move from food to fashion. He won huge kudos for changing the M&S food recipe, turning it into an appetising offer again after consumers had shown an increasing tendency to leave it on the plate, but his lack of clothing experience is a concern for some.

But while he may not have a fashion background, if there’s one thing Dixon knows it is the M&S customer. He is steeped in the business and brings a wide range of experience, including running the original flagship store in Paris, to involvement in developing M&S’s etail offer.

He’ll be helped to make fashion judgements by Belinda Earl, the former Debenhams chief executive who will devote herself exclusively to the clothing offer for two or three days a week.

Earl’s appointment has generally been welcomed, but again there are niggles. Is the part-time nature of her involvement sufficient, given the importance of the category to M&S’s fortunes? And the fact that the other companies she led, Aquascutum and Jaeger, ended up in trouble also worries some, even though she was by then no longer involved.

Marc Bolland’s strategy to better differentiate M&S’s clothing brands makes sense. However, there have been problems with execution. The combination of Dixon’s commercial nous and Earl’s eye for style makes sense.

But whatever the new M&S fashion team does will not be apparent until next year. Until there is better visibility on performance in the key category, many investors are likely to adopt a wait-and-see approach or seek better value elsewhere.