One of retail’s longest-serving chief executives Catriona Marshall revealed today that she is to step down as Hobbycraft boss after just over six years in charge.

But news of her replacement came as just as much of a shock as that of her departure.

John Colley, who has helped transform the fortunes of Majestic Wine since taking over as managing director of its retail division, is departing the business after just 18 months to take on the Hobbycraft job.

Colley, who has reshaped the Majestic retail board, ushered in home delivery and click-and-collect propositions and taken a swipe at the grocers by launching an entry-level private label range, has swapped the role for one closer to his two young sons in Dorset.

Today Colley spoke to Retail Week exclusively about the challenge ahead, the lure of working with chairman Archie Norman and his plans to take up knitting.

Elsewhere today, JD posted rocketing full-year profits and the BRC and KPMG revealed that retail sales dipped in March as shoppers scrapped non-essential purchases.

Quote of the day

“Catriona has done a bloody good job in terms of getting the basics sorted out and doing a lot of the heavy work, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.” 

– Incoming Hobbycraft boss John Colley on the challenge of succeeding Catriona Marshall.

Today in numbers


The profit recorded by JD’s outdoor division, fronted by Blacks and Millets, in the year ending January 28 – the first time that arm of the business has turned a profit. 


The drop in like-for-like retail sales last month, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor. 

Tomorrow’s agenda

Tesco takes centre stage in the City tomorrow when it unveils full-year results, but keep an eye out for interim results from WHSmith and a third-quarter update from Dunelm.

Luke Tugby, head of content