Lakeland has announced Catherine Nunn as the new chief executive of the housewares retailer, making her the first company boss from outside the founding Rayner family.
Nunn will commence her role on January 1 2017, replacing Sam Rayner who led the company for 40 years. He remain on the board but move to the role of chairman.
Nunn joins the housewares chain, which has 69 stores across the UK plus a few more abroad, after more than 20 years with BP. Her most recent stint as BP’s UK retail director saw her responsible for the company’s 330 retail sites and she is credited for delivering material growth against a background of overall sales decline.
“As a long-standing customer, [Nunn] has known and used the Lakeland brand herself and now aspires to open up the compelling Lakeland proposition to a wider audience in both the UK and beyond,” the company said in a statement.
Nunn said her success with BP in “relentlessly focusing on the customer and their needs” is something she will bring with her to Lakeland.
“This will be a very exciting role for me as I’m joining a really well founded company that is determined to continue its expansion and development in areas where I have experience and, therefore, can supplement the work of the current team,” she said.
Rayner said Nunn’s appointment to the board completes brings the day-to-day management from his family to an end and leaves the operation of Lakeland to a team of non-family directors.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Catherine by providing some continuity and maintaining the continued growth of Lakeland,” he said.
Lakeland is a limited company owned by three shareholders: Martin, Sam and Julian Rayner. It employs 1800 people and had a turnover of £176 million in 2014.