For decades Marks & Spencer was the most successful retailer in the world. Its clothes were a byword for affordable quality and its food halls pioneered ready-prepared meals. Then suddenly they were dowdy, the staff deserted in droves and the shares plummeted – but the annual results in April 2006 show that the company is on the mend. What went wrong and how have things improved? In new chapters covering the Philip Green bid and the Stuart Rose recovery plan, and covering the Christmas 2006 trading figures, Judi Bevan reveals all.
     
 

Recent times have seen ferocious battles for supremacy among the supermarket chains in Britain. US giant WalMart took over ASDA and northern upstart Morrisons acquired Safeway. Meanwhile Tesco has gone from strength to strength.

Trolley Wars tells not only the gripping story behind these changes but also the social changes that have accompanied and underpinned them. It reveals the truth behind supermarkets' relationships with their suppliers and customers, and the ruthless world behind the checkout.

     
 

From humble beginnings, Marks & Spencer became the UK's leading department store. However, the British chain suffered a dramatic reversal of fortune starting in the late 1990s, with tumbling profits, poor sales and a series of boardroom bust-ups.

This thoughtful and intelligent analysis covers the financial rise and fall of the retailing icon, but it's the personalities and relationships that made M & S different. The Rise and Fall of Marks & Spencer was the Winner of the WHSmith Business Book Award, 2002.

     
 

also available

The Insiders A City thriller, Piatkus Books, 1993


The New Tycoons, joint author with John Jay, Simon & Schuster, 1989