What the papers say: ‘Lucky’ Luc leaves blazing M&S trail

Marks & Spencer saviour ‘Lucky’ Luc Vandevelde walked away from his charge last week, amid criticism that he had played away from home too often to save the UK’s high street icon from a disappointing relapse into dismal sales and sliding share value.

Although the official M&S announcement asserted that Vandevelde’s departure was due to prior ‘personal commitments’ to Carrefour, the statement with no thank you note, or best wishes for the future, belied a different story.

Analysts and shareholders generally agreed that his departure was ‘potentially good news’ for the firm (Investec, Guardian, 11 May). However, the public wrangling over the choice, or even the type, of new chairman did little to settle market confidence, and cautionary tales of management shake-out and take over vulnerability flourished.

M&S is a British institution: ‘remember… Marks & Spencer actually invented courtesy’ (Guardian, 11 May). But this sentiment did little to atone for the sense of loss of leadership, market position and brand awareness.

With Lucky Luc riding off into the sunset, M&S badly needs a new gun-slinger to stroll into town.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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