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Stead & Simpson shake-up begins

Stead & Simpson boss David Lockyer has left the business, as incoming chief executive David White kicks off a shake-up at the retailer.

Up to 15 positions at the chain’s 300-strong head office are now under review as White reorganises the retailer’s marketing and merchandising strategies.

White has been hired by Stead & Simpson’s bank, HBOS, which is currently carrying out a refinancing and strategic review of the business, to be completed within the next month.

He was drafted in to turn around the chain, which was hit by poor autumn trading.

The former WHSmith Travel Retail chief operating officer replaces Lockyer, who is retiring after leading a £51.4 million secondary buyout of the chain last January.

Lockyer, who has worked in the footwear industry for 39 years and at Stead & Simpson for 10, rubbished speculation that he was to set up his own footwear chain. “That is not my plan at all. I have no immediate plans, other than spending time at home and on my boat.”

The retailer operates fascias including Stead & Simpson, Shoe Express, Famous Footwear, Peter Briggs and Lilly & Skinner. It has 420 UK shops.

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