The co-owner and son of the founder of Lakeland, Martin Rayner, is to retire after 42 years with the business.

Rayner will retire from his day-to-day role in the buying team at the kitchenware business in May but will remain co-owner alongside his brothers Sam and Julian and will remain on the retailers’ board.

Rayner said the time was right to leave the business in the year it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

He said: “I’m incredibly proud of the Lakeland we have created and know that the business remains in the safe hands of every one of our employees.

“I’m delighted to know that our buying director Matthew, who has been with us for over 10 years, and his team of world class buyers, are now discovering over 2,000 new and innovative ideas every year, and have no doubt that they will continue successfully without my involvement.”