Blog: This is no ordinary AGM...

Joe Ayling | 9 July 2009

Marks and Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose has once again been in the firing line this week for his combined chief executive and executive chairman roles.

But judging from yesterday's jovial AGM in London, he could perhaps add The Court Jester act to his responsibilities there too.

Taking centre stage at the Royal Festival Hall, Sir Stuart's comic timing and witty replies to some rather odd shareholder questions kept everyone entertained.

He began with props - wheeling out a clothing rail of top selling garments, including the famous 'We Boobed' lingerie set. Sir Stuart held the range up but promised he wasn't going to try it on.

"It took a little bit of humbleness [the 'We Boobed' ad] but it paid off because it's one of the reasons our market share has grown," Rose says.

But Sir Stuart really came into his own during question time.

Fielding a comment about the Ashes from a cricket fan for instance, Sir Stuart joked that his prompt was, in fact, a TV screen showing the cricket - "It's 130 for three and I'm watching it on this screen from Cardiff".

He found equally sharp replies for disgruntled M&S shoppers unhappy with store signage, the availability of thermal underwear in November and whether its Classic range was too old looking, even for 82-year-olds.

"Looking through the men's shorts department I thought I was in Primark," one ex-Navy shareholder stood up and said. "If I'd worn them on a cruise ship most people would've jumped over the side."

Sir Stuart laughed it all off, at least until the serious part of the meeting arrived - a resolution to oust him as chairman before the agreed July 2011 date. However, the motion only got half the backing it needed and smiles returned to faces.

"England are 189 for three," he updated the crowd before leaving.

By Joe Ayling, news editor.

 


BLOG

US border tax a contentious issue

Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...

BLOG

Primark's sustainable cotton programme takes shape

With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...

BLOG

Trump administration starts to shake up trade

Last week we marked the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States by taking a closer look at what's at stake for the textile and apparel trade – especially his promises t...

BLOG

Likely shifts in the sourcing landscape in 2017

Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?