M&S announced a five-year transformation plan last year aimed at restoring the basics and changing its culture towards a speedy, leaner and more digitally focused business. Rowe previously condemned the retailer for having cumbersome and bureaucratic structures, and a store estate which is not “fit for the future”. However, the overhaul has proved aching for the business. M&S was criticised to its second straight year of falling profits in May as it afflicted a huge bill for store closures. Pre-tax profits jumped from 62.1 per cent to £66.8mn for the year ending March 2018, hugely influenced by £321.1mn of costs linked to shutting underperforming shops.