The papers are full of the woes of Marks & Spencer this morning, after the UK retail stalwart posted a 62% plunge in annual profits yesterday.

“Store closure charges wipe out Marks and Spencer profits” writes The Financial Times (£), “M&S profits plunge amid sweeping store closure plans”, writes The Telegraph, “Marks & Spencer reports sharp drop in annual profits” says The Guardian.

Marks & Spencer is to overhaul its food business in an attempt to improve its pricing and range amid slipping sales and intense high street competition. (The Times £)

Archie Norman, the chairman of Marks and Spencer, described Wednesday’s results presentation to analysts and investors as the most important the UK retailer had ever given… The list of mea culpas was long: the website was too slow; the warehouse incapable of handling peak order volumes; the food overpriced; the clothing ranges too confusing; and, most of all, the company had been too slow to react to the rapid shifts in consumer habits (The Financial Times £). Archie Norman, Marks & Spencer’s hands-on chairman, said it was “perfectly reasonable” for sceptics to question whether its latest turnaround plans would succeed. Analysis by The Times shows that since 2008 £6.4 billion has been spent on capital expenditure, including numerous failed attempts to push M&S into the digital age (The Times £). Marks & Spencer confessed to being expensive, out of touch, too bureaucratic and having a clunky website as bosses plotted a turnaround (The Daily Mail).

Britain’s favourite high street chain has been grappling with the changes sweeping through the industry for years but after another steep fall in profits, boss Steve Rowe has held his hands up and admitted that it is seriously struggling to adapt (The Telegraph). While chief executive Steve Rowe claims to have “put out the fires” engulfing the business, M&S is still scrambling around the initial twists and turns of a painful five-year turnaround (The Telegraph).

Alistair Osborne in The Times (£) notes that investors have heard promises of M&S’ transformation many times before. “The best Messrs Rowe and Norman can offer investors is a flat dividend and a five-year wait while M&S has another revamp, including fixing a supply chain that Mr Bolland said he’d already fixed, as part of £2 billion of capex. Still, at least the M&S transformation is under way.”

Same old message from M&S, says Sky’s Ian King, but is there room for optimism this time? The big question, which some may find odd in the wake of the store closures just announced, is whether M&S is being radical enough in its downsizing of the estate. (Sky News)

The Guardian looks at seven reasons why Marks & Spencer is in trouble, concluding that the internet, along with younger, sharper rivals, threaten the dominance of the grande dame of retail.

M&S is finally coming to the online retail party — like it’s 1999, writes The FT’s Lombard column. “It wasn’t just the retailer’s systems that sounded dated, when it reported results on Wednesday. Its entire online strategy seemed hopelessly behind the times. M&S appeared to be “facing facts” that had not been in dispute since 1999, let alone 2014.” (The Financial Times £)

The FT’s Lex column writes that admitting defeat on an earlier expansion strategy is sensible, if expensive. “But retrenchment is not enough to pull M&S out of its morass… M&S seems always in a state of flux, yet real change remains elusive. The share price surge is premature.” (The Financial Times £)

Marks & Spencer’s duo of chairman Archie Norman and chief exec Steve Rowe run out of time, writes The Mail’s Alex Brummer. “The failure to see the online revolution coming and to make interim arrangements has cost it dearly. That it is hardly out of the starting gates when it comes to online food delivery is a betrayal of customers.” (The Daily Mail)

“Does M&S have the luxury of time?” asks The Guardian’s Nils Pratley. “Up to a point, it does,” he argues. “The size and scope of the “adjustments” is extraordinary but, in terms of hard cash, the cost of the rejig to the store portfolio remains unchanged at £200m. Meanwhile, M&S is still generating plenty of cash from operations and net debt was reduced from £1.9bn to £1.8bn last year.”

Britvic’s profits took a knock after a new growth in its Robinsons and Pepsi brands failed to offset the costs of closing its Norwich site (The Telegraph). Britvic has reported a return to growth for its Robinsons squash brand for the first time in three years on the back of product launches (The Times £). Britvic said the recently introduced sugar tax is prompting retailers to allocate more display to low-sugar drinks, as it reported higher sales of its own zero-sugar Pepsi Max (The Financial Times £). Britvic fizzes 8% even as profits lose their sparkle following the closure of the firm’s Norwich factory (The Daily Mail).

Dairy Crest has announced plans to invest £85m in the expansion of its cheese factory in Cornwall to meet growing demand for cheddar in markets such as China (The Guardian). Soaring demand for cheddar cheese in China prompted Cathedral City’s owner to ask shareholders for £70million to expand (The Daily Mail). Britain’s largest dairy food company has raised £70 million to help fund the expansion of its cheese factory in Cornwall as it seeks to cater for growing demand for mature cheddar overseas (The Times £). Dairy Crest is preparing to launch a prebiotic drink, its first new consumer brand to hit the market in years (The Telegraph).

Takeaway website Just Eat has enlisted former Dragons’ Den star Sarah Willingham to offer help and advice to the 29,000 restaurants signed up to its service. (The Telegraph)

Kroger, one of the biggest US grocery chains, has unveiled plans to buy privately held mealkit group Home Chef in a pact worth up to $700m. The company will pay an initial transaction price of $200m to buy Chicago-headquartered Home Chef. (The Financial Times £)

Target said on Wednesday its efforts to grow its online operations boosted sales but weighed on margins and pushed it to a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit. (The Financial Times £).

As technology stocks set the pace for US equities in 2018 and help sustain the S&P 500 in positive territory, the grim performance of consumer staples companies is a reminder that some sectors are struggling. The S&P consumer staples group has fallen some 13.4 per cent in the year to date compared with a rise of more than 9 per cent in the tech sector. (The Financial Times £)