M&S CEO Steve Rowe

Bosses at Marks & Spencer claimed they believed they could transform the ailing retailer into a “profitable, growing business” within the next five years, despite sales sliding further in the six months to the end of September (The Telegraph). Marks & Spencer boss Steve Rowe said it was leaving “no stone unturned” as a new management line-up overhauls “every aspect” of its struggling clothing and food stores in a bid to appeal to younger shoppers (The Guardian).

Marks & Spencer has warned there will be “little improvement in sales trajectory” this year, after it reported falling clothing and food revenues amid disruption caused by its restructuring programme (The Financial Times £). The high street retailer that Britons either love or loathe said yesterday that it was “facing the facts” about transforming its business (The Times £). Marks & Spencer boss Steve Rowe said he was facing the facts after its worst food sales in a decade. (The Daily Mail). Marks & Spencer has reported further dips in clothing and food sales, warning “significant further change” is required to turn its fortunes around (Sky News).

Chief executives and chairmen have come and gone, promising change and telling investors that “really tough issues” would be tackled — yet M&S has never delivered a much-needed turnaround. (The Times £).

Can Marks & Spencer’s strategy fix its age-old problems, asks the FT’s Lombard column? “M&S’s mistake, perhaps, is having no online offering for youngsters who buy fashionable food, but too many oldies in unfashionable slacks who will not buy online.” (The Financial Times £)

What is most depressing about this is the downbeat message coming from the top team of Archie Norman and Steve Rowe, writes Alex Brummer in The Daily Mail. “When management goes as far as to refer to M&S as a failing enterprise they are doing everyone involved a huge disservice… Even in the current hostile retail environment it is not constructive to destroy the confidence of a loyal workforce, an army of dedicated private shareholders or scaring consumer and suppliers.”

The John Lewis Partnership has signalled the end of an era with Sir Charlie Mayfield announcing he will step down as chairman in 2020, after almost two decades with the retailer (The Telegraph). The chairman of the John Lewis Partnership has announced he is stepping down from the group in 2020, and the search for his replacement has already begun (The Daily Mail).

Sir Charlie Mayfield will step down as chairman of the John Lewis Partnership in 2020 after more than a decade overseeing the management of two of Britain’s best known retailers (The Times £). Struggling department store John Lewis announced on Wednesday its chairman planned to step down but would help oversee the succession process, two months after the high street stalwart reported a 99% fall in half-year profits (The Financial Times £).

Likely internal candidates include Paula Nickolds, the managing director of the John Lewis department stores, Rob Collins, the head of Waitrose, and the group finance director, Patrick Lewis. (The Guardian)

Customers rushing to stock up on Monster Beverage’s products before a previously flagged price increase saved the company from reporting a quarter-on-quarter drop in sales. (The Financial Times £)

Cosmetics and fragrance maker Coty lost roughly a fifth of its value on Wednesday after it said that serious supply-chain disruptions at US and European warehouses had hit quarterly revenue and profit (The Financial Times £). Weakness in Europe also hurt US cosmetics company Coty, whose many brands include Covergirl, Max Factor, Bourjois and Rimmel (The BBC).

The number of independent retailers across Britain is set to increase over the next few years, despite the well-documented problems on the high street. (The Telegraph)

The London restaurant scene has suffered its worst year for closures in decades as a rapid expansion turned to bust. (The Financial Times £)

JD Wetherspoon may raise its prices in the coming months as the pub chain warned of weaker trading, higher staff costs (The Guardian). Pub chain Wetherspoon has warned profit growth will fizzle out as increased staff costs squeeze its bottom line (The Telegraph).