Troubled nursery and maternity retailer Mothercare has appointed former Kmart executive David Wood as ceo with immediate effect as Mark Newton-Jones steps down from the role after four years.
David’s appointment will ensure that Mothercare has fresh leadership in place to complete its transformation plan and return to growth.
The ailing retailer has recently called on accountancy giants KPMG to help negotiate waivers on its loan agreements (with HSBC and Barclays) and secure the funds needed to avoid falling into liquidation. Those discussions are expected to conclude before 17 May 2018, when the preliminary results should be announced.
David has considerable experience across a number of international consumer facing brands. Previously president of Kmart, he successfully transformed the retail operating model, returning the business to sustainable profit growth. David has also previously held senior roles at Tesco in the UK and internationally.
“Mothercare is a great brand with a great future but it is facing a number of challenges, not least a highly competitive retail environment,” said chairman Alan Parker. “Our transformation strategy is focused on improving the performance of the group in the UK and internationally, ensuring Mothercare has the best store format, digital capabilities and customer offer as well as several actions to reduce central costs.”
He continued; “We have made positive progress but it is essential that we have the most effective leadership in place to meet our ambitions for our customers and our shareholders. David has a great track record in similar circumstances across international and consumer facing brands and is a highly effective operator of retail operations.”
David said he was ‘delighted to be leading Mothercare’, which he described as ‘a business with a fantastic heritage and an exciting future both in the UK and internationally’.
“My immediate focus is to ensure Mothercare is put back on a sound financial footing and deliver a successful plan to improve performance,” he commented. “Central to this will be our customers and their experience, securing Mothercare’s reputation as the number one choice for parents.”