Lakeland has announced that Catherine Nunn will be taking over as ceo of the company on January 1 2017, replacing Sam Rayner who remains as company chairman.
Catherine joins the housewares chain after more than 20 years with BP, latterly as UK retail director with accountability for running the country-wide portfolio of 330 company-owned retail sites. Lakeland said: ‘In this role Catherine deepened and expanded BP’s sector-leading partnership with Marks and Spencer and delivered material growth for BP against a background of overall sales decline in the forecourt sector.’
The specialist multiple added that its blend of innovative products for the home, everyday necessities that have unique attributes, plus a satisfaction guarantee that places it significantly ahead of others, are aspects of the Lakeland DNA that attracted Catherine.
‘As a long-standing customer, she 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.
Commenting on her appointment, Catherine said: “Great strides have been made to expand the company into a broader market and I’m confident that my experience will help Lakeland to reach an even wider customer base.
“I have achieved considerable success with BP by relentlessly focusing on the customer and their needs, and this will be just as important to my role at Lakeland.
“My considerable UK and international retail experience will allow me to take on the challenges facing retailing in 2017 and beyond – and will be particularly useful at a time when Lakeland is progressing a well-planned journey into markets outside the UK.
“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.”
Managing director Sam Rayner will remain on the board but move to the role of chairman. He said: “After 40 years leading Lakeland, it’s now time for a change and I’m thrilled that we have been able to appoint such a talented person as our new CEO.
“This addition to the board completes the stepping down of the family from day-to-day management and leaves the operation of Lakeland from January 1 with Catherine and the 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.”
Lakeland is a limited company owned by three shareholders: Martin, Sam and Julian Rayner. Established over 50 years ago and based in Cumbria, the company employs 1,800 people with a turnover of £176 million in 2014.
It operates 69 stores nationwide in the UK, 16 stores in the Middle East and three in India. Summer 2013 saw the Lakeland brand launch in Germany with dedicated German website lakeland.de.