Jaeger executive chairman Stewart Binnie has left the premium fashion retailer, after just nine months at the helm, Retail Week can reveal.
Binnie’s departure is a setback for Jaeger’s turnaround hopes. The former Aurora Fashions president was drafted in to the retailer last June to lead its revival, after it was bought by Jon Moulton’s private equity vehicle Better Capital.
Jaeger confirmed Binnie’s departure this afternoon and said that owner Better Capital has no plans to appoint a successor. Jaeger said that it already has two directors on the board of the company, “both of whom intend to play an active role in its management activities”.
Nick Sanders of Better Capital said: “I would like to thank Stewart on behalf of the company for his efforts and for the changes that have taken place under his leadership. We wish him well in his new endeavours.”
Binnie said: “I have greatly enjoyed working with Better Capital and have every confidence that, under its ownership, Jaeger will prosper in the years to come.”
Jaeger said Binnie had left to “return to his non-executive activities on behalf of private equity-backed businesses and other companies”. The retailer added that Binnie had helped the retailer “identify and implement the vision, objectives and strategies most calculated to enhance the company’s value under its new ownership.
“In particular, he has sought to put in place the financial, marketing, organisational and other resources necessary to restore Jaeger’s standing in its former international markets whilst also improving the company’s performance in its core UK retail and multi-channel markets”.
Better Capital acquired 90% of the retailer in a £19.5m deal in April last year. Former majority shareholder, fashion veteran Harold Tillman, had kept the remaining 10% stake and stayed on as chairman but eventually left the business in October.
Binnie told Retail Week last October that he was focusing on growing Jaeger’s international business, which included returning to Japan with standalone stores by winter this year. He said that he hoped by that time to have international product, some key relationships in place and a handful of stores ready to open.