Leader: For M&S and retail, this is not just any FTSE reshuffle

Paternoster Square London Stock Exchange

For decades, Marks & Spencer has been a mainstay not just on British high streets, but in the FTSE 100.

The retailer was one of the founding members of the blue-chip list, back in 1984 – a time when Brunei had just gained independence from the UK, Ronald Reagan was in The White House and Flying Pickets were top of the UK charts with Only You.

Thirty-five-and-a-half years later, that run has come to an end – and its relegation from the list of Britain’s biggest listed businesses is a moment in time not just for M&S, but for retail.

From an M&S perspective, you can’t say it hasn’t been coming. The business has teetered on the brink of FTSE demotion on a few occasions after what has felt like years of constant revolution, without conjuring a recipe for prolonged success.

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