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Founders of step down as CEOs

The founders of luxury indie mini-chain, Tom and Ruth Chapman, have stepped down as joint chief executives after 27 years.

Chief operating officer Ulric Jerome has taken over the reins. The Chapmans are now joint chairmen.

Tom Chapman told Drapers it was a “natural evolution” for Matchesfashion, which was founded in 1987 as a bricks-and-mortar retailer but now makes 85% of its £130m annual sales online.

He said: “When Ulric joined two years ago, the intention was always that he would become chief executive. This has now been formalised. We do, of course, remain completely committed and involved in the strategic development of the business and how we keep innovating and driving it forward.”

He said Jerome, who joined in February 2013, had helped facilitate a “complete tech overhaul” of the business and launch of a fully responsive site in April.

Jerome was previously a founding partner and executive director of general etailer, which operates in 26 countries.

Chapman batted away any rumours of a sale, but said an IPO could be on the cards in four or five years.

Matchesfashion has four London stores in Marylebone, Notting Hill, Richmond and Wimbledon. The Chapmans own about three quarters of the company, while Scottish Equity Partners owns the rest.


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