Marc Bolland will look to make international growth, especially in China, a cornerstone of his turnaround strategy at Marks & Spencer when he starts as chief executive in the New Year.
According to sources close to the former head of supermarket group Morrisons, Mr Bolland will use his international experience at Dutch drinks group Heineken, for whom he worked for 20 years, to seek opportunities in the Far East.
In its last annual report M&S declared its interest in growing international business from 9pc of total revenues to up to 20pc by 2012. Last year international sales rose 25.9pc to £897.8m from 300 overseas stores in 41 countries. This compares to a similar number that rival H&M trades in and around 70 countries in which Inditex, owner of the Zara brand, operates.
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