Mothercare names former Shop Direct boss as interim chief executive

Published on: 11th March 2014

Mark Newton-Jones, former Shop Direct boss, will start later this month as interim head of the baby products retailer.newton300

Mothercare named Mark Newton-Jones as its interim chief executive on Monday, giving the group more time to search for a permanent leader to help revive its struggling UK business. Newton-Jones, who led online retailer Shop Direct for almost a decade until July and has also held senior roles at clothing retailer Next, will join Mothercare on 17th March. He succeeds Simon Calver, who quit last month after less than two years in the role, weeks after a profit warning showed his plans to revive the group were faltering.

Mothercare, which makes about 70% of sales in the UK, has been shutting under-performing British stores and revamping others, growing online and improving products, but the changes have struggled to make a difference in the face of fierce competition from internet rivals and supermarkets.

The firm, which has 231 stores in the UK and around 1,200 in a better-performing international division, had aimed to make a profit on its British operations by 2015, but said in January that 2016 to 2017 was now more realistic.

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