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Whittard appoints ex-Molton Brown CEO as new MD


Tea, coffee and ceramics retailer Whittard of Chelsea has named former Molton Brown CEO Sara Halton as its new Managing Director (MD).

The experienced retail industry professional, who has also previously worked in senior roles at book chain Borders and women’s fashion specialist Monsoon, will help lead the company as it continues its turnaround plan following administration at the end of 2008.

Epic private equity partners bought the chain after it collapsed and has helped get the business back on track by repositioning the brand in the UK and international markets, as well as launching a new website in April this year.

Mike Taylor, who is currently MD of both Whittard and gift retailer sister company Past Times, said: “Whittard has successfully completed the first phase of the turnaround plan we embarked on two years ago.

“Having delivered ten per cent like-for-like (LFL) sales growth in 2010, and with sales up five per cent LFL in the year to date, we believe the brand has significant growth potential across all channels.”

Investment Director at Epic Private Equity Joe Wilson said that Whittard has now grown to the point where it requires an MD who has experience of similar brands and markets.

“This appointment will enable Whittard to develop fully its UK and international brand potential,” he remarked.

Meanwhile health & beauty retailer and high street pharmacist Lloydspharmacy has today appointed Peter Wilton as its new Head of Brand & Marketing Communications.

With 23 years of experience in marketing and advertising, Wilton will be tasked with leading a 21-strong team whose responsibilities include consumer and business-to-business customer marketing & PR communications.

Published on Wednesday 29 June by Editorial Assistant

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