With the news that both M&S and the John Lewis Partnership (which owns Waitrose) are suffering financially, what might the implications be for the quality of food in their stores? I hope it won't be affected as both groups have made huge strides forward in their pursuit of quality over quantity. Surely the time has come for M&S to extract their food from their other merchandise. They either need to sell it off to another company interested in quality or there is a need for a settled boardroom. However badly they are doing, it makes no sense to have constant changes at board level. It gives no confidence to either staff or customers to see so many changes. Food is M&S's strength and playing to your strengths is what is needed in such desperate times. On no account must M&S be allowed to become like the other multiples and compromise on standards of quality. I was particularly impressed when I joined a two day Waitrose buyers' training seminar. It was apparent when talking to many of them how much passion for food and wine runs through the company. Many I talked to had long years of experience in their particular field. Constant testing, comparisons, searches for newer and better products, and even buyers learning how to cook, tell me this could be the future of supermarkets. And yet when I talk to members of the public, generally I find most of them ignorant of the quality of Waitrose. If I was md of Waitrose I would be shouting from the rooftops about how good my company was. It should take out quality advertisements on television showing off the virtues of its food and wine. It's no good hiding your light under a bushel, you've got to go for it and fight the temptation to revert to mediocrity in the name of profit. Choose the right direction and profits should follow. That applies to both companies. {{NEWS }}