LONDON — The ground is shifting under some of the U.K.’s biggest retailers, which will see some major players exit, or change roles, in the next weeks — and for different reasons.
On Tuesday, Superdry announced that Julian Dunkerton, the company’s cofounder, was leaving to devote more time to his other businesses and charitable interests. He will step down as a company director as of March 31, and Superdry said his role in relation to product and brand will be picked up by the creative teams he has helped to establish.
Superdry, which sells through branded retail outlets, online stores and wholesale accounts, said in January it was confident of delivering full-year underlying profit before tax in line with analyst expectations of 97.7 million pounds to 100.6 million pounds.
Dunkerton cofounded Superdry with designer James Holder in 2003, with the first store launching a year later. In March 2010, the business was floated on the London Stock Exchange. Dunkerton remained as chief executive officer of the business until 2014, when he was succeeded by Euan Sutherland.
At Marks & Spencer, meanwhile, British retail veteran Belinda Earl will step aside from her women’s wear role as part of a restructuring under the new clothing and home managing director Jill McDonald.
Earl joined M&S in 2012 as style director, a new role at the company. She had previously been ceo of Jaeger and Debenhams. M&S said that while she will be leaving her commercial role, a part-time position, she will continue to work in an advisory capacity and sit on the board of the M&S Archive.
“Belinda has made a huge contribution to M&S. She’s a great friend to the brand and we are delighted to retain her support and input,” McDonald said.
Earl will hand over her women’s wear responsibilities to Jill Stanton over the summer. Stanton will take on the new role of women’s wear and kids’ wear director at the store in July. Stanton has previously worked for Next, Dewhirst and Nike, where she had global responsibility for clothing.
Most recently, Stanton was executive vice president at Old Navy, where she was a member of the turnaround team and acted as interim president of the American brand.
She joins the company as it tries to turn around its ailing clothing business, which for years has been losing market share as it struggles to compete with the big fast-fashion brands on the high street.
In the third quarter, the M&S Clothing and Home division saw revenue fall 2.3 percent to 1.19 billion pounds. Like-for-like revenue at the division was down 2.8 percent.
As reported last week, Stacey Cartwright has resigned from her position of deputy chairman of Harvey Nichols and will leave the company on April 30.
Her exit follows a previously announced new management structure that sees Daniela Rinaldi and Manju Malhotra take on the roles of co-chief operating officers. Cartwright will focus on developing a portfolio of non-executive interests, the retailer said last week.