A former director of lingerie chain La Senza has been appointed to lead the turnaround strategy at another troubled retailer, JJB Sports.Beverley Williams, who takes the chief executive’s role vacated by Keith Jones last week, will work alongside US retail recovery specialist Bob Corliss as they look to revive the performance of the sports goods firm.
Wigan-based JJB admitted recently that more poor sales figures meant it would need additional funds to support its store overhaul programme.
Ms Williams was commercial director and co-chief executive of La Senza but left last year before its collapse into administration in January. She was previously general manager of Contessa, which merged with La Senza in 2007.
Mr Corliss, who previously ran franchise-based footwear business The Athlete’s Foot, said Ms Williams has a wealth of experience in multi-channel retailing.
He added: “She is particularly well known for her expertise in product and trading. I am looking forward to working with Beverley as we set about improving the overall experience for JJB customers.”
Ms Williams, who will hold the role on an interim basis, said: “JJB has a great deal of potential and I am confident that with the continued help and commitment of our staff, suppliers and investors we can forge a stronger future for the business.”
JJB, which has 180 stores and employs some 4,000 people, secured a lifeline three months ago when it landed £20 million from American retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods and a further £10 million from existing shareholders, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
It earmarked £20 million of the most recent funding on converting 60 of its most important stores in 2012 and 2013 into a new format that during trials produced much-improved sales and margins.
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