Time up for Jennings at Austin Reed

Beleaguered Austin Reed chief executive Roger Jennings has been shown the door after the retailer suffered an 11.3 per cent slump in like-for-likes in the 22 weeks to January 10.

Total retail sales fell by 5.2 per cent compared with the same period last year, but the retailer insisted profits for the year will meet expectations.

Hopes of a bid for the ailing chain faded when no one came forward following the trading update. Jeans tycoon Shami Ahmed, and Nigel Robertson, a member of the founding family, had both previously been linked to potential deals.

David Lowbridge, managing director of Austin Reed's Country Casuals chain since 1998, will act as chief executive until a replacement is found.

However, he said were an offer to be made he would be 'delighted to take it on'.

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner said: 'We liked him (Jennings) tremendously. He is paying the price for staking the bank on the Regent Street refurbishment.'

Jennings was an avid supporter of the retailer's£12.5 million 'rejuvenation', heralded by the Regent Street revamp, and insisted the investment would be worthwhile.

However, there is little evidence that the famous name appeals to modern men in the same way as it did to their fathers and grandfathers.