Move of the Week: M&S hopes Evans will give its fashion spark

Marks and Spencer clothes

On the face of it, Maddy Evans has executed an astute escape plan by swapping her role as fashion director at Topshop for the task of revitalising Marks & Spencer’s clothing offer.

Topshop, lest we forget, is set to wield the axe on 170 head office jobs as part of its proposed CVA and while there’s no suggestion that Evans’ job was under immediate threat, the relative security offered by a senior role at M&S will have been hard to resist.

I say relative – because M&S has well-publicised problems of its own to address. News of Evans’ appointment comes in the wake of last week’s decision by M&S to part company with Jill McDonald, who became the latest casualty of the retailer’s perennial struggle to breathe new life into its clothing and home division.

Clothing sales, in particular, continue to slide, down 3.6% in the year to March 30, and while McDonald won praise from boss Steve Rowe for recruiting a talented team and improving the quality and style of product, ultimately the weak numbers – exacerbated by poor buying and availability – told their own story.

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