In 1999, after a century of unbroken success as a leading European retailer, UK-based Marks and Spencer (M&S) suddenly found itself on the brink of disaster: in the space of a mere six months, its profits had plunged from £1 billion (it had been the first retailer in Europe to achieve the billion pound mark) to less than £500 million. The drop was not only precipitous, but completely unexpected, and its impact was especially stressful for employees. Most had spent their entire working lives at M&S, and had always felt safe and protected by the company which had long fostered an 'adult/child' relationship with its workforce. Now, in the wake of a series of change programmes initiated by radically new top management brought in to save and reinvent the company, the levels of stress amongst employees began to surge. 'Did they have the skills to survive in this new environment? Would they be laid off? Would M&S in fact survive?' were just some of the stressors eroding employee morale at this critical juncture in the company's history. To deal with this, a stress programme based on the model the company had been using for some years was put in place. The case provides a template of how a leading company reacts to and deals with stress, and asks participants to decide what, if anything, M&S should do now.