Clarks eyes store closures as former Guess boss joins as CEO

Clarks Lionrock Capital Victor Herrero
In November, Clarks struck a deal with landlords to switch to turnover rents - where lease payments are linked to sales
// Clarks hires former Guess CEO Victor Herrero as new exec chair and CEO
// The footwear retailer is expected to shut some of its stores
// The new plans will impact the 12,000 people that work for Clarks globally

Clarks has welcomed the former chief executive of Guess, Victor Herrero as the new executive chairman and chief executive.

According to The Telegraph, Herrero will be responsible for gearing up the retailer to battle through the Covid-19 pandemic, which will likely result closures across 320 Clarks stores.

Although Herrero said he will “try to keep as many Clarks stores as possible”, the new plans will impact the 12,000 people that work for Clarks globally.


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Herrero joined to replace Giorgio Presca, who exited the business last month along with chief commercial officer Massimo Barzaghi and chief people officer Difna Blamey.

Hong Kong-based private equity firm LionRock Capital acquired a majority stake in Clarks at the end of last year and is currently appointing a new management team.

“We’re in the final stages of wrapping all the UK store restructuring that needs to take place,” LionRock founder Daniel Tseung said.

In November, Clarks struck a deal with landlords to switch to turnover rents – where lease payments are linked to sales.

The footwear retailer said that 90 per cent of its creditors – which include landlords – have voted in favour of its CVA proposals.

Group revenue at Clarks fell 6.4 per cent year on year to £1.37 billion, in the 52 weeks to February 1, 2020.

Clarks attributed the decrease to challenging trade across the UK, Ireland, Europe and the US.

It reported a profit after tax of £17.2 million, a 120 per cent increase on the previous year.

Underlying operating profit jumped 53.5 per cent to £46.2 million and its adjusted underlying profit was up 105.5 per cent to £45.2 million.

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