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M&S turnaround a 'marathon' says Rowe

Marks and Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe has indicated that he expects his planned turnaround of the business to take time, saying the company is at the start of a “marathon”.

In a note from analysts, Steve Rowe is reported to have told investors that the business is “at miles three to four” in the marathon turnaround plan, reports CityAM.

Since taking over as CEO in April 2016, Rowe has sought to revive the retailer’s fortunes - closing stores and focusing on reinvigorating tumbling clothing sales.

In January, the retailer announced six clothing and home stores that will be closed, with eight more earmarked for potential closure. It had previously announced in November 2016 that it intended to reposition around 25% of its clothing and home space as part of a five-year plan, through a combination of closures, downsizes, relocations and conversions to food-only stores.

M&S also announced earlier this year that it will close its distribution centre in Neasden, north London, placing 380 job roles into consultation.

In its most recent results, M&S announced a further fall in its clothing and home sales in the third quarter of 2017, falling 2.8% to £1.19bn on a like-for-like basis for the 13 weeks to 30 December 2017. Total revenue for the quarter fell 0.1% to £3.17bn.

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