Stuart Rose: "If M&S hadn't been invented, you wouldn't invent it now"

Smarta has to confess it has a bit of a crush on Marks and Spencer chief Sir Stuart Rose - but not just for his youthful good looks.

Rose's tendency to be blunt has got him into hot water several times, but we were particularly impressed by his lines today. "If Marks and Spencer hadn't already been invented, you probably wouldn't invent it now," he told IoD director general Miles Templeman during a discussion at the organisation's annual conference today.

"The trouble is, everyone who comes to Marks and Spencer wants different things. You can be short, tall, fat, thin, black, white, Jew, Muslim, Christian – everyone comes in, and everyone wants us to do for them what they want."

Hmm... it may be that Rose has just had his Gerald Ratner moment, but we could sense a certain tongue-in-cheek sense of humour when he said: "In TopShop everyone is of a certain physique," to laughter from the audience.

He added: "I'm just saying - that probably makes it easier."

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