Marks & Spencer’s appointment of Inditex’s Russian boss Jan Heere as international director, and the poaching of Laura Wade-Gery from Tesco as ecommerce supremo, should benefit the retailer in subtle as well as obvious ways.

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Marks & Spencer’s appointment of Inditex’s Russian boss Jan Heere as international director, and the poaching of Laura Wade-Gery from Tesco as ecommerce supremo, should benefit the retailer in subtle as well as obvious ways.

The hirings look apposite, bringing requisite and proven experience to the high street bellwether and are likely to allow M&S to motor in both fields - each central to chief executive Marc Bolland’s growth plans.

Additionally, they have set down a marker. Each appointment was made from among the world’s best retailers, sending a signal of the seriousness of Bolland’s intentions and, psychologically, reinforcing M&S’s status among that global elite.

The hirings should be good for internal morale too, bringing a sense of the new and excitement that possibilities long talked about suddenly look much more realisable. Bolland’s strategy update last November underwhelmed some observers who thought it windy and vague. But since then the wheels have turned fast and the M&S machine looks as if it is really cranking up.

HMV struggles to keep pace

Despite terrible trading that precipitated a profit warning, HMV boss Simion Fox said on Tuesday that the entertainment group “is adapting quickly to respond to these external factors”.

Up to a point, Lord Copper. It is true that HMV has been radically reshaped under Fox’s leadership, with ventures such as live music, and Fox deserves credit for taking HMV in new directions as fast as possible.

The trouble is that the pace of change in the wider world has been even faster. The HMV name, and that of stablemate bookseller Waterstone’s, still has powerful purchase. The question remains how to make it as strong on the digital high street as it was on the real one. And to that, a full answer has not yet been found.

Follow George on Twitter at twitter.com/GeorgeMacD