TM Lewin’s chief financial officer Mike Trotman will be the latest senior executive to leave the company as it gears up for a relaunch following a refinancing deal completed in August.
The company is kickstarting a phase of growth, with a focus on multichannel expansion, following a couple of years of relative inaction due to financial restraints.
Chief executive Geoff Quinn, who has been with the business for 35 years, told Drapers that the deal with Sankaty Advisors, part of US private equity firm Bain Capital, provides an opportunity for the senior team to be reorganised and the business to better position itself financially for the future.
Chief financial officer Mike Trotman, who has held the role for nine years. will leave in the next few months to pursue new opportunities. He follows chairman Tony Campbell, creative director John Francomb and ecommerce director Andrew Mossman, who announced their departures last month.
Former N Brown chief executive Alan White has replaced Campbell as non-executive chairman to drive the company’s multichannel strategy. Francomb’s product responsibilities have been assumed by technical director Wayne Carter and head of menswear Anthony Procopi. Mossman, who is working out his notice, has not yet been replaced.
Around 15 people across the buying, merchandising, design and marketing teams have been made redundant in recent weeks.
“We have taken the opportunity to look at where we are today and where we want the business to be in future,” said Quinn. “Retail will continue to be central to what we do but we do recognise that there is more we could do to knit our offline and online businesses together.”
TM Lewin, which runs almost 100 stores (around 90 in the UK and five in Australia) and a further 90 franchises globally, made a £636,000 pre-tax profit in the year to March 1 2014, following losses of £1.4m the year before. Sales rose to £106.8m from £106.7m in 2013.
Approximately 20% of business is online; around 30% of that is international. More than half of all UK orders are click-and-collect, while sales made via iPads in-store are up 60% year on year.
Quinn said promotions such as its four-shirts-for-£100 offer are “who we are and we don’t want to change that”, but the business is evaluating some of the other additional promotions it offers.
“We want to put greater emphasis on product development and the customer experience,” he added.
Around 50% of sales are in core business shirts but casual shirts, jackets and lightweight knitwear have been proving successful recently and are an opportunity for future growth, alongside a more premium tailoring offer beyond its suits, which currently range between £145 and £329.
“We have focused a lot on price in the past, so we want to raise more awareness on the quality, design and fit of our products going forward,” he said. “All our shirt collars, with the exception of the non-iron ones, are made of 12 separate pieces, but we’re not always the ones to shout about that and we need to do that more.”