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Marks & Spencer share price: Retailer beefs up Food division with Tesco executive

Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) has hired Tesco’s (LON:TSCO) commercial director as part of efforts to revive its Food division, the company has said. The move comes ahead of the retailer’s half-year results on November 7.

Marks & Spencer’s share price has been steady in London this morning, having inched 0.21 percent higher to 286.50p as of 09:48 BST, marginally outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.06 percent higher at 7,237.78 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 17 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 3.6-percent dip in the Footsie.

M&S shakes up Food business

Marks & Spencer announced in a statement yesterday that the managing director of its Food division Stuart Machin had kicked off the first stage of the unit’s transformation with a series of new hires, including George Wright, most recently Commercial Director at Tesco. He will join the M&S Food team in the new role of Commercial Director responsible for Trading and Supply Chain.

“I am determined to use a mix of great internal talent and impressive new hires to build a winning team to transform M&S Food into a winning business,” Machin said in the statement. He has also rehired April Preston, currently responsible for transforming the Harrods Food Hall, as Product Development Director.

The move comes Machin looks to revive the retailer’s Food business which has suffered a drop in sales.

Analysts on blue-chip retailer

Shore Capital reaffirmed M&S as a ‘hold’ today, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 315.65p.

As of 10:05 BST, Tuesday, 09 October, Marks and Spencer Group Plc share price is 286.70p.

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