M&S chief's fashion clearout: Steve Rowe set to axe high street gurus credited with turning round rival Next

Profile: M&S has a deal with model Alexa Chung

Profile: M&S has a deal with model Alexa Chung

New M&S boss Steve Rowe looks set to stamp his authority on the business by axing high street fashion gurus credited with turning round rival Next, sources claim.

An M&S contract with siblings Mark and Neal Lindsey – nicknamed the rag trade brothers – who are experts at ensuring fashion chains are supplied with the clothes they want at the right price and at the right time.

They were hired by former boss Marc Bolland in March 2014 after they had transformed the way Next did business and made the flagging retailer into a high street powerhouse. 

Under Bolland M&S has struck a number of high profile deals to revive its women’s fashion business, including most recently with model Alexa Chung.

Despite M&S struggling with their clothing sales, the Lindsey brothers are credited with helping M&S slash their costs and carve out contacts with new designers.

Many analysts believe that without their expertise the M&S clothing lines would be in even more disarray than many people believe they currently are.

The Lindseys are said to have learned their trade working Saturdays and school holidays in their uncle’s menswear store in Golders Green, London, in the 1960s. They went on to work for Rael Brook, a shirt maker.

The brothers receive a fixed proportion of the savings generated by the increase in M&S’s margin, in addition to basic salaries of £400,000 each. 

They will be in line for multi-million pound paydays which could make them the company’s best-paid employees over a three-year period.

Rowe, 48, who took over last month, will set out his strategy to shareholders tomorrow at its full-year results. 

It is not expected that Rowe will give an update on the contract with the Lindsey brothers this week as it is still being considered.

Shares fell 0.81 per cent or 3.6p to 441.1p.


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