Ex-JD Sports chief executive Peter Cowgill has been appointed as The Fragrance Shop’s first-ever non-executive chair. 

Peter Cowgill JD Sports

Cowgill has been appointed non-executive chair at TFS with immediate effect

Cowgill, who was ousted from JD Sports in May amid corporate governance concerns, has taken up the new role with immediate effect. 

He will work closely with chief executive Sanjay Vadera as The Fragrance Shop steps up its expansion plans. 

Cowgill led JD Sports in the joint role of chair and chief executive between 2014 and his sudden exit earlier this year. He oversaw the retailer’s rapid UK and international expansion, the acquisition of brands including Go Outdoors and US business Finish Line, and its leap into the FTSE 100.

But JD Sports was plagued by a string of controversies during his last few years at the helm. 

After agreeing to purchase rival Footasylum in a £90m deal, the two retailers were fined a combined total of £4.7m by the Competition and Markets Authority in February for sharing commercially sensitive information. 

An investigation by the watchdog accused personnel at JD and Footasylum of deleting phone records and found that their chairs held a series of clandestine meetings – including an infamous rendezvous in a car park that was caught on camera. 

JD Sports also saw a shareholder revolt last year after Cowgill pocketed almost £6m in bonuses after the business had accepted more than £100m in government support during the coronavirus crisis. 

However, in September, Cowgill was drafted in by JD Sports as a consultant on a three-year deal to provide “continuous support and assistance” to chair Andy Higginson and chief executive Régis Schultz.

The Fragrance Shop said Cowgill would bring “counsel and experience” to the business. 

Vadera said: “We’re delighted to welcome Peter to the TFS family.  

“With our proven strategy and clear momentum, we know The Fragrance Shop can develop into a world-leading multichannel retailer. 

“We’re looking forward to the counsel and experience Peter will bring as we expand and grow.”   

Cowgill added: “I feel very privileged to take on this role at an exciting time for the business as it continues to execute its growth strategy.  

“Against the post-pandemic backdrop and current economic headwinds, The Fragrance Shop continues to perform because of its focus on innovation and ensuring it puts the customer and its members at the heart of everything it does.   

“I look forward to working with them closely on its expansion plans – particularly in its digital business, as it furthers its international footprint and in support of category expansion through acquisition and organic growth.”