Cocktail sticks. Every supermarket has to sell them. And Marc Bolland evidently views his food and drink brands in the same way.

He needs them for the rare occasion when his shoppers do a full-service shop. But in scaling back SKU proliferation among the 100 or so brands in-store, he is focusing M&S on what it's good at: freshness, specialty, convenience.

Sounds familiar? While there are naturally differences in positioning, Bolland was preaching the same sermon he wrote at Morrisons. He was told by analysts, at the time, to sell the real estate, flog the factories, move into convenience. Instead he kept hold of the freeholds, built three new factories, and switched into small supermarkets.

"It wasn't revolutionary, and some of the things I just finished off," he told me for my piece in last week's issue on The New Generals, "and some of the things I just finished off, but I built on strengths."

In the same way, Bolland this week played down international expansion to accentuate the distinctiveness of M&S, with plans to up the food SKU count from 7,000 to 8,000 items, while distancing it from the big four supermarkets (though this time there were no comparisons with Waitrose).

The similarities didn't end there. Bolland dismissed online as a model for M&S food and drink distribution. "I'm not in the business of losing money; it has to be viable," he said, recalling his Morrisons position. And Bolland wheeled out the same map and the same dots as before to show where he wanted more M&S and Simply Food stores (basically, everywhere).

There were even shades of Market Street, and the way he opened up the Morrisons engine room, in calling for M&S cafés to open out on to the food and drink aisles. And all in all, it was a spellbinding two-hour performance.

The only thing that disappointed was Bolland's suit: M&S now, of course, it didn't fit. Another strength to work on, then.