Card and gift specialist Clinton Cards has today named Starbucks UK & Ireland Managing Director Darcy Willson-Rymer as its new CEO, effective from October 2011.
The appointment comes as the business looks to turn around falling sales and at a time of significant change at the retailer, which saw the company launch a new look interactive website earlier this year.
Willson-Rymer will work closely with Group Managing Director Clinton Lewin, whose main focus will be on the company’s property portfolio, while Founder and Chairman Don Lewin will become Non-Executive Chairman from August 1st.
Don Lewin today paid tribute to non-executives John Coleman and Robert Gunlack, who will retire from the board as part of the reshuffle and whose replacements will be named in due course.
“Having founded Clinton Cards over 40 years ago, the time is now right for me to assume a non-executive role,” he added.
“The changes announced today will bring important new experience to our senior management team and strengthen the board.
“I welcome Darcy to the board of Clinton Cards. His strong retail, brand, management and customer relationship experience and skills will be of great benefit as we develop the group through the changing retail environment.”
Clinton Cards has introduced a number of new initiatives this year in an attempt to improve trading and modernise the business.
Web-based kiosks are being brought into stores to allow customers to design their own cards and personalise gifts, while a new smartphone app and loyalty card are also part of the re-branding process.
During the 40 weeks to May 8th 2011 trading at Clinton stores fell 3.4 per cent year-on-year, while its Birthday facias reported flat sales over the same period.
Today’s announcement also revealed that 78-year-old Don Lewin, who founded Clinton Cards in 1968, will take on the role of Life President in March 2012.