Wiggle’s incoming boss Will Kernan joins the specialist retailer after a five-year stint at The White Company.

To some onlookers, going from running a homewares retailer to a tri-sports pure play business may seem like a leap.

However, Kernan – who has previously worked at retailers including New Look, Burton and Arcadia – has shown that he is adept at switching gears in his career to date.

The incoming boss will take over from Stefan Barden, who has been at the helm of the specialist etailer since 2013. It’s not known whether Barden has a new role lined up.

Kernan will hope to keep up momentum at the online retailer, which acquired rival business Chain Reaction Cycles last June, when he steps into his new role next month.

While Kernan warms up for Wiggle, Boots’ omnichannel boss Robin Phillips steps down after two years with the retailer.

There was some good news for strained department store retailer House of Fraser, which unveiled plans to develop a new £300m retail complex in Chester.

And it was a mixed bag for single-price retailer Poundland, which launched its first Pep & Co shop-in-shop, but pulled the plug on its etail arm to focus on its core business, as revealed by Retail Week.

Quote of the day

“The amount of customers wasn’t that great that were using it [the website] as a proposition, and the amount of returning customers wasn’t as high as we would have liked to have seen”

– Poundland’s trading director Barry Williams on the retailer’s decision to scrap its transactional website.

Today in numbers


The square footage of House of Fraser’s new retail complex in Chester, slated to open in 2021.


The increase in Amazon’s fourth-quarter sales, which hit $43.7bn in the 12 weeks to December 31.

Monday’s agenda

There are no scheduled trading updates for Monday, but look out for our video interview with Ikea’s UK boss Gillian Drakeford.

Grace Bowden, junior reporter