Baby and maternity products retailer Mothercare announced today that it is replacing non-executive Chairman Ian Peacock as the business looks to move on to its next stage of development.
The company, which is currently undergoing a major store reduction programme in the UK following sluggish sales over the last 18 months, has appointed former Whitbread CEO Alan Parker to the role.
Peacock will remain on the board as a non-exec director until the end of October 2011, while Parker will assume his new position on August 15th.
The departing Chairman said: “After nine years on the board, and with Mothercare in its 50th anniversary year, I feel the time is right to move on and hand over to a new Chairman who will help steer Mothercare through its next phase.”
Parker was in charge of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn owner Whitbread between 2004 and 2010, in which time Costa became a globally recognised brand, and is also currently a non-exec director at Comet parent firm Kesa Electricals.
Mothercare CEO Ben Gordon, who has overseen a rapid rise in sales within the retailer’s international markets in recent times, thanked Peacock for his nine years of service but welcomed Parker’s arrival.
“We are thrilled that Alan is joining the board of Mothercare as non-executive Chairman,” he explained.
“He brings with him extensive international experience in franchising and in building consumer facing brands. Alan’s expertise and guidance will be invaluable as we continue on the next phase of Mothercare’s development.”
According to the latest trading statement total sales at Mothercare, which also owns the Early Learning Centre, grew 4.9 per cent in the 15 weeks to July 9th 2011.
However, the increase in trading was driven by international markets which grew 15.2 per cent year-on-year during the quarter, as UK sales dropped 1.8 per cent in total and even more so on a like-for-like basis.
New format stores are currently being trialled by the business, and it has plans to reduce its UK property network by 110 outlets to around 266 by March 2013.