N Brown Chairman stands down as revenue increasesWednesday, 04 July 2012
The group added that sales of ladieswear had been lower than expected, primarily due to the ongoing unsettled weather, which has depressed sales of summer clothing. However, sales of menswear, footwear, lingerie and home and leisure products all showed growth although shoppers have been focusing on key value lines or those which have promotional discounts, such as our online deals of the day, as customers continue to be careful in their spending.
Online revenue growth remains strong and continues to drive sales, accounting for almost 53 per cent of total sales, but the group acknowledged the hardships facing the British high street but remained positive.
“Neither the prevailing economic backdrop nor the weather conditions are helpful to our business. However our flexible business model allows us to target the marketing investment and manage our cost base in order to deliver the best result in any given circumstances,” the statement said.
Lord Alliance, who acquired the business when it operated as JD Williams in 1963, will remain a major shareholder, and will be replaced by Andrew Higginson, formerly Executive Director at Tesco, who will join the board as a non-executive director in July and become Chairman on September 1.
Alan White, who has been chief executive of N Brown since 2002, has also informed the board of his intention to retire from the company in the second half of 2013. He will continue in his existing role and remain fully committed until a new chief executive is settled fully in the business.
In addition, two of the long-standing non-executive directors will also step down from the board at the end of 2012. Nigel Alliance, who has been a director of N Brown Group plc since 1969, is retiring, and Lord Stone of Blackheath, who has served on the board for ten years, is also stepping down in recognition of the requirements of the UK Corporate Governance Code.
Commenting on his departure, Lord Alliance said: “After over 40 years as Chairman of N Brown, I felt the time had come to pass on the role to a new generation which can continue to exploit the potential of multi-channel retailing.
“The company is in great shape, and will benefit from an injection of new blood and new ideas.”