Martin Rayner, director and co-owner of housewares chain Lakeland, has today announced his retirement from his day-to-day role within Lakeland’s buying team, after 42 years working full time for the business that his father founded in 1964.
As Lakeland approaches its 50th anniversary in June, Martin has decided that the time is right for him to step back from full time operational duties. Martin remains co-owner of Lakeland, along with his brothers Sam and Julian, and will continue in his role as a director, member of the board, and shareholder.
On his retirement, Martin said: “I’m incredibly proud of the Lakeland we have created and know that the business remains in the safe hands of every one of our employees. I’m delighted to know that our buying director Matthew [Canwell], who has been with us for over 10 years, and his team of world class buyers, are now discovering over 2,000 new and innovative ideas every year, and have no doubt that they will continue successfully without my involvement.”
Matthew Canwell said: “Lakeland will always be indebted to Martin. His tireless enthusiasm for innovation and product development has been a huge inspiration to myself and the whole of my team. We’re very much looking forward to continuing to build upon the success that Martin has established over his 42 years with Lakeland.”
Martin will retire in May after a final round of meetings with suppliers at various trade shows around the world, where he will thank his many friends in the industry for the support they have given Lakeland through their supply of innovative products over the past four decades.
Martin will be meeting with suppliers at events including Spring Fair (Birmingham), Ambiente (Frankfurt), International Housewares Fair (Chicago), Housewares Fair (Thailand), Housewares Fair (Hong Kong) and Canton Fair (Guangzhou).
Lakeland now has 67 stores nationwide in the UK, with their 68th store due to open in Inverness, in late spring. Lakeland has a further nine stores trading in the Middle East and summer 2013 saw the Lakeland brand launch in Germany, with a dedicated German website: lakeland.de.