Fat Face chief executive Anthony Thompson has said he will remain at the business for at least another five years and take a “more hands-on approach” to product, as trading director Simon Pickering exits.
Anthony Thompson Fat Face
Pickering joined the company in November 2010 as director of design, buying, merchandising, sourcing and supply chain. He was made trading director in June 2015.
“Simon has done a fantastic job. He will do a great job wherever he goes,” said Thompson, who took over the reins at Fat Face in 2010.
“I’m at the stage where I’m reviewing where I am, I’m very committed to the business and I will continue for at least another five years. I’m keen to be more involved in the product and creative side of things,” Thompson added.
Fat Face’s head of design Emma Shaw, head of buying Kate Brown and head of merchandising Nick Stevenson will now report directly to Thompson.
Thompson said the business is ready for “the next stage” and he wants to grow sales and profits over the next five years.
“I’m looking for healthy, like-for-like, full price growth. Full-price growth is the most important thing. We will concentrate on what we’re doing now rather than changing tack. It’s a renewed focus and we want to take quality to the next level.”
Fat Face will look at increasing the number of products in its “better and best” categories, as well as increasing the overall exit price. Currently, Fat Face’s womenswear retails at between £20 for a top and £85 for a coat.
“Our price proposition will remain competitive, but we’re confident we can have a higher proportion of product in the better and best categories. We’re a strong enough brand to do that.”
Fat Face abandoned plans to float on the London Stock Exchange in May 2014, amid concerns over the market. Thompson said the company may consider an IPO further down the line, but it has no plans to list in the near future.
“Floating is not on the horizon at the moment, it’s not my focus. Over the next five years would I expect us to consider the opportunity for our shareholder to crystallise his investment, but we’re not considering it at the moment.
“Our five-year plan is to focus on customers and improving product.”