Book Review: The Rise and Fall of Marks & Spencer by Judi Bevan

Since its “penny a product” inception, the store has been a byword for quality on the high street. Few backsides were not swathed in “St.Michael” smalls and the latest clothing ranges were eagerly awaited.

The near collapse of this institution is brilliantly chronicled in Judi Bevan’s award-winning investigation, which charts incompetence, arrogance and plain cluelessness.

Over the years the organisation shifted strategy with alarming regularity and a host of management consultants did their best to complicate matters further. This book is a warning both to companies who believe that consultants are the elixir to all problems, and consultants who believe they have all the answers.

Now it seems that M&S may have a happy ending, aided by George Davies, founder of Next, who has stepped in with the Per Una range. The book covers this resurgence as best it can. But, despite the recently announced bonus for shareholders, M&S is not out of the woods yet.

Profile Books £16.99

ISBN: 1 86197 289 X

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