Chief executive, Peacock Group
If Richard Kirk thought last year was tough, then 2011 was even tougher. According to reports, Peacocks’ lenders called in KPMG to conduct an independent business review amid fears the value retailer was in danger of breaching its banking covenants. The group also pulled its Bonmarché chain off the high street after tough trading. On a brighter note, Kirk strengthened his team by appointing former Sainsbury’s non-food boss John Cooper as merchandise director and Sue Swannie from Shop Direct as buying director. On the product front, Peacocks has been full of Duchess of Cambridge replica designs, and in April unveiled a higher-priced collection of catwalk‑inspired clothing Peacocks by Design.
Last year’s position 57