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M&S names Paul Babbs as new supply chain boss | Apparel Industry News

M&S has named former Adidas exec Paul Babbs as its supply chain officer

M&S has named former Adidas exec Paul Babbs as its supply chain officer

UK retailer Marks & Spencer has confirmed the appointment of former Adidas executive Paul Babbs as its new chief supply chain officer.

Babbs had been with Adidas for 12 years, most recently in the same role he will assume at Marks & Spencer.

The food-to-fashion group has seen a series of top executive changes in recent months as it takes steps to try to return to profitable growth.

Its previous head of supply chain for clothing and home, Gordon Mowat, left in September.

And last month it re-hired Richard Price, CEO of Tesco’s F&F Clothing, as managing director of its struggling clothing and home division to replace Jill McDonald who was ousted in July after less than two years in the role. 

A week later it appointed former Arcadia director Anthony Cassidy as its new head of brand creative, working across the clothing and home division. 

CEO Steve Rowe has made it clear the company needs to move faster to address “long-standing issues” in its clothing supply chain around availability and flow of product. In the first half of its current financial year, the retailer saw revenues in its all-important clothing and home business fall 7.8%, with like-for-likes down 5.5%.

The latest appointments may go some way to tackling some of the problems at M&S, which in September was relegated from the FTSE100 list of Britain’s biggest listed companies.

The company has been trying to reinvent itself for more than a decade, with the current five-year “restoring the basics” turnaround plan seeing more than 100 store closures by 2022, and a focus on better planning and stock visibility, removing outdated product lines, improving logistics, and upgrading its online visibility. But critics say an overload of brands means its offer is too confusing and no longer resonates with the core customer base.

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