Dec 11, 2019
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M&S lures new supply chain chief Babbs from Adidas - report

Dec 11, 2019

M&S is beefing up its logistics strength with the appointment of Paul Babbs who will be in charge of the retail giant’s supply chain, something that has come under pressure in recent periods.


The company admitted a few months ago that it has had problems meeting demand for popular items so the supply chain role is firmly in the spotlight as M&S continues to work towards its long-awaited recovery.

The news of Babbs' appointment was reported in The Times, which cited a staff memo it had seen. It said that the former senior Adidas director was with the German sportswear company for the past 12 years. His most recent position was as its chief supply chain officer, so he will take the same role when he joins M&S in late spring.

The company got rid of its previous supply chain head Gordon Mowat three months ago, at the same time as Clothing & Home head Jill McDonald exited after much-publicised problems in getting popular denim styles onto store and online shelves.

CEO Steve Rowe had said at the time that the company having not ordered enough of the jeans styles that M&S was marketing heavily via a Holly Willoughby-fronted campaign was the “worst availability I have ever seen”.

So what is it about Babbs that has attracted M&S. Well, the exec has been a key driver of the modernisation of the Adidas supply chain as it pivots to an omnichannel model and a more direct-to-customer sales strategy.

That said, Adidas has had its own supply chain challenges and admitted earlier this year that some Asian factories were unable to meet demand for its products from US consumers.

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