‘Emerging from a chrysalis’: UK’s M&S promises surprise from reshaped business

LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) – British clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) is emerging from the COVID-19 crisis as a very different business that will surprise people with its financial performance, Chairman Archie Norman said on Tuesday.

Norman and Chief Executive Steve Rowe believe the pandemic has masked progress the 137-year-old group has made in its latest attempt at a turnaround after decades of failures.

They have focused on transforming the culture in M&S, improving the quality and value of its clothing and food products, while reshaping its store estate and investing in technology and e-commerce, including a venture with online supermarket Ocado (OCDO.L).

“We sort of feel we’re emerging from the pandemic and lockdown, like emerging from a chrysalis, a new and reshaped business,” Norman told shareholders attending M&S’s annual general meeting, held virtually for a second successive year.

“We think we’re going to surprise a few people,…

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