M&S to Create Small Investors Panel to Scrutinise Performance

Marks & Spencer is offering small investors a direct line to the boardroom with the creation of a shareholder panel to scrutinise performance. The plan was announced on Tuesday by the M&S chairman, Robert Swannell, at its annual investor meeting, where management regularly faces fierce criticism of its underperforming clothing business which last week reported its biggest fall in sales since the 2008 banking crisis. “We want to listen to you and take you with us as we change Marks & Spencer,” he said. The retailer has already held trial events including a lunch and tea party, with a guest list drawn from vocal AGM regulars. The meetings had delivered some “perceptive observations”, Swannell said, although a short video of highlights included comments such as “too much pastel [coloured]” clothing and a need to “sparkle up” designs for older women.

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