Marks & Spencer Group Plc, the U.K.’s largest clothing retailer, said Janie Schaffer, the head of its lingerie division, has left after only three months, increasing pressure on Chief Executive Officer Marc Bolland.
The departure of Schaffer, who joined early this year as lingerie and beauty director from the post of chief creative officer at Victoria’s Secret, was confirmed by M&S spokesman Daniel Himsworth. Schaffer struggled to handle both the creative and business sides of the position and was frustrated at not having as much power as she wanted to overhaul the division, according to a person who asked to not be identified.
Chief Executive Officer Marc Bolland has been under pressure to revive sales in the retailer’s general merchandise division after seven straight quarters of decline. Bolland in November described Schaffer as an “exciting, new, external talent.” Known as the “Knicker Queen,” she had previously begun her own lingerie chain, Knickerbox, and had worked at M&S in her twenties.
Retail Week reported the departure earlier today.
Lingerie accounts for 32.9 percent of Marks & Spencer’s clothing sales, and 12.4 percent of its overall U.K. revenue, Verdict research estimates.