Bolland loses key womenswear buyer from M&S

Kasmira Jefford
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MARKS and Spencer confirmed yesterday that one of its key womenswear executives has resigned, delivering a further blow to the chain as it attempts to repair its struggling clothing division.

Gillian Ridley Whittle, development and buying director for womenswear plans to leave in six months to join Australian department store group Target.

Her departure comes after Janie Schaffer, heralded as The Knicker Quee” for her work at Knickerbox, left as head of lingerie in April. M&S’s head of clothing Kate Bostock also resigned last autumn after the worst quarterly sales in years prompted chief executive Marc Bolland to shake up the general merchandise team.

“We wish Gillian all the best with her new life in Australia,” a spokesperson said, adding that it had yet to appoint a replacement.

The group, will post its first-half results on 5 November, with Cantor Fitzgerald analysts predicting a 1.5 per cent decline in second quarter general merchandise sales.