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Radley appoints former Watches of Switzerland boss as chief executive

Bag and accessory brand Radley has appointed chairman and private equity investor Justin Stead as its new boss, effective from May 6.

Stead was previously chief executive of Aurum Holdings, with responsibility for its portfolio luxury jewellery and watch brands Watches of Switzerland, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmith, from 2007 to February 2014, when he stepped down to pursue other interests.

During his time, he increased profits at Aurum from £6m to £24m.

Prior to Aurum, Australia-born Stead spent eight years at the watch and jewellery firm Fossil Group based in Dallas, Texas.

He will continue his non-executive chairmanship at when he starts his role at Radley.

Radley chairman Roger Best said: “[Stead’s] proven track record in building outstanding success at Aurum and his considerable international experience of developing international distribution and accessories brands will be of significant benefit to us as we grow internationally.”

Radley was founded in 1998 and is currently owned by Exponent Private Equity, Phoenix Equity Partners and the company’s management team. It has 33 UK stores and is sold in House of Fraser, John Lewis, Fenwick, Next and, as well as 195 independent stockists.

Its online site ships to 47 countries and the brand distributes to 14 international markets including Germany, Russia, Taiwan, South East Asia, Australia and Japan. 

Radley, through its Radley + Co and Radley Retail businesses, increased turnover by 10% to £64.3m for the full-year to April 30, 2014, and made a pre-tax profit of £2.2m compared with a pre-tax profit of £0.1m in the previous year. In February, industry sources suggested its owners were readying the brand for sale.


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