Marks & Spencer lingerie chief exits after 3 months
LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Britain's Marks & Spencer said on Tuesday its head of lingerie and beauty, Janie Schaffer, had left the firm after just three months in the job, dealing another blow to its struggling clothing business. A spokeswoman for M&S said Schaffer had left the firm but declined to comment further. Before joining M&S Schaffer was chief creative officer at Victoria's Secret. M&S announced her appointment, amid much fanfare, last November. Last Thursday M&S, which has recently been the subject of takeover speculation, posted a seventh straight quarterly fall in underlying sales of clothing, footwear and homewares, ratcheting-up the pressure on Chief Executive Marc Bolland. He has said that a new general merchandise management team led by John Dixon, the former boss of M&S's food business, and Belinda Earl, the former chief of Debenhams and Jaeger, will not make a major impact on sales until autumn/winter collections hit the shops in July. News of Schaffer's departure overshadowed M&S's announcement that it is to return to the Netherlands as it looks to grow its offering in overseas markets. M&S, which exited all of its stores in continental Europe in 2001, said it would launch a Dutch website and a 500 square metre e-Boutique in Amsterdam on Wednesday, with two full-line stores to open in the next two years in The Hague and Amsterdam. The group, which makes around 11 percent of its revenue overseas, will also open six M&S food pilots at BP forecourts in the Netherlands from September. The move follows M&S's 2011 return to France, where it will open three new stores in Paris this financial year. The firm also plans to open a flagship store in Belgium in 2015. M&S said on Tuesday it was also launching a dedicated website for customers in Luxemburg.
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