Blog: Dean BestSir Stuart takes a swipe at analyst flak

Dean Best | 19 March 2009

Sir Stuart Rose, the executive chairman of UK retailer Marks and Spencer, is one of the most quotable people in business.

And today (19 March) was no exception.

Sir Stuart was the latest retail industry executive to attend the Retail Week Conference 2009 this afternoon where he faced questions on stage from BBC business broadcaster Declan Curry.

There'll be more in-depth coverage from the interview on just-food's pages tomorrow morning but, as a taster, below is Sir Stuart's riposte to criticism earlier this month from Credit Suisse analyst Tony Shiret, which included a call for M&S to sell off its Simply Food stores.

Sir Stuart, however, dismissed the criticism. “Anybody who has got the time on his hands to write a 104-page note on Marks and Spencer is obviously not a very busy man,” Sir Stuart insisted.

“Tony takes himself very seriously. I must confess, I haven't read the note. I'm far too busy.”

The M&S boss then defended the company's recovery over the last five years.

“If anybody seriously thinks that Marks and Spencer in 2009 is the same Marks and Spencer that was there in 2004, they've obviously got a very poor memory,” he said.

“Imagine what that business would be  doing now in this very difficult climate, it doesn't bear thinking about. I'm very comfortable with what we're doing and I'm very comfortable with what the business's plans are.”


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