Just as SuperGroup looked to be getting a stable management in place, the fashion retailer has suffered the sudden loss of its co-founder and chief executive for wholesale and international.
Just as Supergroup looked to be getting a stable management in place with the arrival of Shaun Wills as finance director and Susanne Given as chief operating officer, the fashion retailer has suffered the sudden loss of its co-founder and chief executive for wholesale and international.
Theo Karpathios’ resignation this week could spell trouble for the retailer’s growth trajectory, which relies heavily on international expansion. It was Karpathios, who owns 14.8% of the business, who was leading the overseas charge. He was plotting stores across major cities in India, and China was being eyed too. The retailer has 101 overseas stores, having opened 48 in its last financial year, and it plans to bolster its presence in existing markets.
The search for Karpathios’ replacement is under way, but losing the knowledge, passion and skill of the co-founder is a blow, and follows a fall in profits on the back of embarrassing supply chain glitches. But Karpathios’ exit could present an opportunity. Some analysts believe his departure will enable Given to make her mark on the overseas side of the business, and enable SuperGroup to do things a bit differently. An injection of fresh blood is no bad thing, particularly at a retailer that for too long has relied upon creative and product aficionados to do the number crunch.
JJB Sports saga continues
One problem that might not be so easy to fix is JJB Sports’ ever-dwindling sales and profits. The saga rumbled on this week when it was reported private equity tycoon Jon Moulton had offered to buy the struggling retailer.
Meanwhile, JJB’s biggest investor, Invesco, is thought to be considering forcing through a restructure of JJB to speed up its turnaround plan, while doubts were raised over any continued support from backer Dick’s Sporting Goods.
With its chief executive Keith Jones about to leave, uncertainty about JJB’s future is intensifying. Action must be taken swiftly if it is to give Sports Direct a run for its money.