Mothercare appoints new CEO to drive transformation plan

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Mothercare has appointed David Wood as chief executive. He is tasked with completing its transformation programme and returning the business to growth. He takes over from Mark Newton-Jones who has stepped down as chief executive.

Wood was previously group president of Kmart Holding Corp, a $3bn US grocery retail and pharmaceutical business. Before that he held a number of senior positions at Tesco.

Mothercare’s transformation programme involves becoming more digitally-led. Some 42 per cent of its UK sales are now online. It has been closing under-performing stores and changing the rest to its new “club” format.

At the same time it has been moving to a leaner supply chain strategy. In its results for the half year to 7th October 2017, it said its stock position reduced by £6m to £120m and it had completed investment in warehousing consolidation and merchandising planning systems. “We have consolidated our warehousing, so we can now fulfil products for both stores and online from one campus, and we have upgraded our planning and merchandising systems, to enable us to better manage stock and help grow full price sales.”

Welcoming Wood to the company, chairman Alan Parker said: “Mothercare is a great brand with a great future but it is facing a number of challenges, not least a highly competitive retail environment.

“Our transformation strategy is focused on improving the performance of the Group in the UK and internationally, ensuring Mothercare has the best store format, digital capabilities and customer offer as well as several actions to reduce central costs. We have made positive progress but it is essential that we have the most effective leadership in place to meet our ambitions for our customers and our shareholders.

“David has a great track record in similar circumstances across international and consumer facing brands and is a highly effective operator of retail operations. I look forward to working with him and the team.”

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