Mamas & Papas has appointed a new boss as it attempts to build on a turnaround effort. 

The private equity-owned maternity, pram and childrenswear retailer has promoted its chief commercial officer, Jonathon Fitzgerald, to chief executive.

Fitzgerald, a former Sainsbury’s, JD Sports and House of Fraser executive, joined Mamas & Papas two years ago.

Derek Lovelock, who was leading the business, has switched to the role of non-executive chairman. Lovelock is a former boss of Coast, Oasis and Warehouse.

Lovelock was parachuted in two years ago to drive Mamas & Papas’ recovery by renegotiating rents and reportedly cutting 90 jobs from its Yorkshire head office.

Lovelock said: “Jonathon has already played a key role in the transformation of the business over the past couple of years and is therefore a natural choice as chief executive.”

Last month rumours surfaced that Mamas & Papas’ owner, the private equity owner Bluegem Capital, is looking to sell the business.

Bluegem put Mamas & Papas through a company voluntary arrangement just months after acquiring the business in 2014.

In accounts to be filed at Companies House, the retailer is expected to report that latest full-year profits have come in at £6m compared to a loss two years ago.

Like-for-likes have grown by around a fifth, while total sales are expected to have slipped due to store closures.