Signing-on fees were not the only things attacked at Marks & Spencer's annual general meeting yesterday - Birmingham also got its fair share of criticism.
Hilda Perrigan, a London shareholder was met with boos and jeers when she complained to the M&S board that she would "rather not have to go north of Watford" to attend the AGM.
Her comments prompted a curt response from Birmingham councillor and M&S shareholder Margaret Waddington.
The Conservative member for Sutton Trinity said: "I must say I am very upset by the lady's comments. I am proud to have Marks & Spencer in our city and I would like to welcome the board and fellow shareholders back to Birmingham."
Chairman Paul Myners thanked Mrs Waddington for her comments and said that the board's experience of Birmingham had been good and he praised the professionalism of the ICC staff.
Despite an amusing demonstration of M&S products by chief executive Stuart Rose, many shareholders also expressed concern that the retailer was failing to cater for its previously loyal over-55 market.
During his speech to shareholders, Mr Rose wheeled out a rack containing a selection of garments telling investors: "There aren't many places you can buy seven pairs of socks for a pound or a bra for £4!"
One West Midlands shareholder claimed that by concentrating on the 33 to 55 year- old age group the company was still neglecting older shoppers.
"I would like to see some decent corduroys," he said. "Where are the Shetland pullovers? Older people need older clothes."
Mr Rose said he was surprised that shareholders were disappointed with the ranges for older shoppers and suggested the previously confusing shop layouts may have prevented customers from finding what they want.
M&S came under fire for the number of posts held by chairman Lord Burns.
One shareholder also expressed his concern that Lord Burns lacked the relevant experience to help lead M&S on the path to recovery.
Lord Burns is already chairman of Abbey National and Welsh Water, and is a non- executive of Spain's Banco Santander Central Hispano, publisher Pearson and British Land. He is due to join as deputy chairman in October before taking over as chairman after the firm's next annual meeting.
Mr Myners said Lord Burns had told M&S that he would reduce his commitments in order to devote enough time to the new role. I'm very sure Terry will give us the time necessary to perform to a high standard. He is a good man and will do well for you."