profit M will charge shoppers 5p for every plastic bag
M revealed profits today close to 1 billion for the fi michael kors watch rst time since 1998, prompting talk that chief executive Stuart Rose will soon declare that his work is done.
The enigmatic retail guru insists he will still be in place in a year’s time “unless God has other plans for me”, but wouldn’t commit himself beyond 2009.
M profits leapt 28 per cent to 965 million in the year to March, a strong return to form for a company that at one point had lost the confidence of shoppers, staff and the City.
Rose, the 58 year old Yorkshireman educated as a Quaker, joined in 2004 with a five year plan to rescue the business. “We are retailers. The job is never done. You close the shop on Saturday night and you start again on Monday michael kors watch ,” he said. Still, he seems unlikely to stay for more than the next two years.
He added: “I am committed to 2009. When we get nearer the time, we will decide. The board will be able to look at the options.”
On current trading, M said sales in April had been merely “satisfactory”, suggesting it will get harder for Rose to impress from here on.
The City seemed to agree, the shares slipping 21p to 7171/2p as it digested the figures.
She takes up the 50,000 a year part time role on 1 June. The firm, which acted as an agency for last minute bookings to, among other things, holidays and the theatre, was one of the highestprofile online companies. It floated in 2000 when it was valued at almost 800million.
Plastic bags have become a “key tool in stores” battle to showcase their green credentials and commitment to the environment.
British shops hand out more than 13billion carrier bags each year most of which end up in landfill sites where they can take up to 500 years to break down.
To tackle the problem Ireland introduced a plastic bag tax in March 2002, which saw their use fall by 90 per cent and raised 60million euros (41million) for eco charities.
Environment ministers have repeatedly rejected moves to introduce similar measures in the UK for fear of upsetting voters, making the decision by M especially brave.
The company’s Northern Irish bag trial will come in two stages.
From June 4, it will offer customers the sturdy, reusable “bags for life” free of charge with a promise to replace them once they wear out.
A month later, on July 1, it will introduce the 5p charge on the flimsier, standard plastic bags currently given out free.
Dr Liz Goodwin, chief executive of WRAP, a body set up to reduce packaging waste, said yesterday: “Too many of us rely on free carrier bags when we shop and as a result 13billion of them are used up every year in the UK.
“From our research we know it’s very difficult for shopp michael kors watch ers to adopt ‘greener’ habits without su michael kors watch pport.”
The firm’s divisional executive for Ireland, Neil Hyslop, added: “We have all got into the habit of using too many carrier bags and we want to explore how we can encourage people to change their behaviour.”
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A company spokesman added: “We feel the time is right for this. The indications from our customers are that they are ready to take a bold stance.
“If it is successful we are going to roll this out into other stores.”
M is the latest retailer to ban carrier bags in an attempt to appear more “eco friendly” to consumers.
Last month, Sainsbury’s caused a frenzy in stores when a 5 cotton and rope bag by the designer Anya Hindmarch bearing the slogan “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” was released as an incentive for shoppers to switch away from carrier bags.