He has decided to move on rather than commit to another four years at the business, which is understood to have generated a 24 per cent uplift in sales in the year to April and a 75 per cent EBITDA rise to£2.8 million. Like-for-like sales jumped 15.5 per cent and the retailer enjoyed its best Christmas to date.
Mather will be succeeded by Gudjón Reynisson, chief executive of Baugur-owned Icelandic c-store chain 10-11.
An exact transfer date has yet to be decided, but Mather is likely to remain at Hamleys for some weeks to ensure a smooth handover.
Baugur chief executive Gunnar Sigurdsson said: “Nick was a great hire. Gudjón is taking over at an exciting time, with Hamleys in the best shape it has been in for years.”
Sigurdsson said he would “welcome the opportunity” to work with Mather again in future.
During Mather’s time in charge, he restructured Hamleys, sold the Bear Factory business, developed its multichannel offer and own-brand product and initiated international expansion.
Hamleys intends to open in Dubai and Jordan next year and expand elsewhere in Asia, including India and Hong Kong.
Reynisson has run 10-11 since 2002, during which time he is said to have increased profits fourfold and boosted sales 40 per cent.
Sigurdsson said: “He brings impressive retailing skills and has an impeccable track record in brand-building.”
Hamleys became Baugur’s first UK investment in 2003.