Sir Stuart Rose has urged Marc Bolland to put more brands on Marks & Spencer’s shelves when the former Morrisons boss takes over as chief executive in May.

M&S began stocking brands last year in a controversial move for the high street icon.

The outgoing executive chairman (pictured) also said M&S should follow the lead of Tesco in diversifying its business to include an “umbrella brand” selling a wider range of services.

“Tesco is a good example of a brand that says, ‘We will sell you anything you can think of’,” Sir Stuart said, according to the Financial Times.

“At M&S, we haven’t traditionally done that. Why don’t we sell branded cosmetics? I haven’t got a clue.”

Earlier this week Sir Stuart bemoaned the decision by M&S to close its European stores before he came on board. He also suggested he could leave the retailer ahead of the “drop-dead date” of 31 July 2011.

Yesterday deputy chairman Sir David Michels confirmed he was not interested in taking over as chairman.

Read more
Michels rules out M&S chairmanship (3 March 2010)
Rose: ‘Tragic’ mistake to close M&S Euro stores (2 March 2010)
M&S renews green commitments as Rose pay comes under fire (1 March 2010)