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Hobbs boss Nicky Dulieu to step down

Nicky Dulieu, chief executive of Hobbs, is leaving the retailer after five years.

Dulieu, who joined the womenswear chain in 2006, is expected to remain in her position until spring and will continue to work with the retailer after standing down from the top role, according to Drapers’ sister magazine Retail Week.

Dulieu joined Hobbs as finance director before being promoted to managing director then chief executive in 2009. Prior to joining the chain she worked at Marks & Spencer for more than 20 years.

This move comes just a month after Hobbs’ owner 3i wrote down the value of its investment in the womenswear retailer by 40% after poor trading in the last quarter of 2013.

Private equity firm 3i, which bought Hobbs in 2004 for £111m, said that the value of its 47% stake in the business had dropped by £14m since September 2013, when it was valued at £35m. Its value in Hobbs had already experienced a significant drop since March last year, when its investment stood at £47m.

Last month the retailer also appointed former New Look boss Phil Wrigley as chairman, replacing Ian MacRitchie.

Hobbs declined to comment.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Does anyone have a view on what they are doing wrong? The product is very good. Would love peoples views on this?

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  • Pricing is too high for quality level. Far too many sub brands causing confusion. Terrible systems and therefore bad stock availabilty across store estate. Infrastructure not robust for growth.

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  • I agree with the points made above , however the key to driving this business forward is to improve the product and deliver a relevant range of clothing...The handwriting is a weak interpretation of what women want , need and desire today missing the target audience which is a wonderful woman with a " booming heart beat " and fiscally sound .
    When will our key British brands start delivering clothing ranges that women over 35/40 want and not leave it to another French brand to come in and do it .
    This is a target audience waiting to be courted as a serious demographic with an energetic and credible offer that makes us want to spend . ( "Heart "Hobbs as the youngsters say !! ) From someone who cares x

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