McGinley on verge of Foyles stake

Mike McGinley, chief executive of world-famous bookstore Foyles, is poised to acquire a significant stake in the retailer following a turnaround.

McGinley became the first chief executive from outside the Foyles family last December, following a complete overhaul of the 40,000 sq ft (3,715 sq m) store.

The retailer has returned to the black for the first time since 1997, with an operating profit of£215,000 in the year to June. Sales jumped 9.6 per cent to£12.5 million.

'We will get through Christmas, and by January we'll know how the business has done and we will see. I would like to have a meaningful stake,' said McGinley.

He said he was optimistic about the store's Christmas performance, after reaping like-for-like sales of 'nearly 15 per cent' in the financial year since July 1, amid a strong back-to-school push.

However, he said the family would retain its interest in the business. Bill Samuel and Christopher Foyle are responsible for the fundamental changes. Under previous long-time manager Christina Foyle, the retailer was notorious for its chaotic stock-keeping and accounting procedures.

'(Christopher) has got his name above the door and he's put a lot of energy and time into the business,' said McGinley.

He did not reveal his financial backers, but he has had contacts in the private equity community since his attempted takeover of Our Price in 2000.