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Marks & Spencer lures former menswear boss back to head clothing arm

By Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor

Marks & Spencer has said former menswear director Richard Price will return to the business after an eight-year hiatus, to head its embattled clothing and home arm.

Mr Price, who is now Tesco’s F&F clothing boss, will take on the role of clothing and home managing director in 2020, although a start date has yet to be confirmed.

He was previously M&S’s menswear trading director for four years until he left in 2012, before which he was the group’s head of merchandise.

The move comes after M&S chief executive Steve Rowe had personally taken over management of the clothing and home division since former managing director, Jill McDonald, left in the summer.

He recently pledged to push rapidly ahead with a turnaround plan for the division, after another sales tumble in the group’s first half results.

It said earlier this month that clothing and homeware sales dropped 5.5% on a like-for-like basis in the six months to September 28, on the back of issues around product availability.

Mr Rowe said Mr Price’s appointment will help ramp up the division’s recovery.

He said : “Richard’s career spans some of the UK’s top clothing brands and he has a proven track record of delivering growth through stylish, great value product.

“We are building a team of world class talent in clothing and home and, with Richard coming on board, I am confident that the speed and scale of the transformation of the business will accelerate.”

Mr Price has also previously acted as managing director of BHS until its collapse in 2015, after which he joined Tesco in his current role.

He said M&S’s clothing department still has “strong brand affection and huge potential” despite recent woes.

He said: “I left the business because I felt it was drifting in the wrong direction, but now feel we have a real chance to make it special again.”