Blog: Leonie BarrieThe end of an era

Leonie Barrie | 3 June 2004

Whoever ends up owning M&S it’s fairly certain that a shake-up of the supply chain is inevitable. And it seems that the fall-out has already started, with long-time manufacturer Desmond's today announcing that it is to close after more than 40 years in business. It’s a sad day and the end of an era when being en exclusive supplier to M&S was something to be proud of – and indeed, when M&S was proud of its ‘buy-British policy. Now, putting all your eggs in one basket is a risky strategy for any supplier and Desmond's has been shedding jobs and factories for the past 18 months in an attempt to stem its losses. If there is any consolation to be had it’s the fact that M&S will in future buy directly from Desmond's joint-venture factories overseas. And it will also buy Desmond's 25 per cent stake in children's wear company Zip Project which was launched with great fanfare in 2001 but has since struggled to make an impact.

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