Specific projects and initiatives

Whittard of Chelsea

April 2010 to January 2012

Having been appointed to this project in 2010 the objective was to drive like-for-like sales growth of 10%. To do this Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were set up, which had not previously existed in the business. These set challenging but realistic targets for stores and regional managers, alongside performance management measures and incentives such as ‘store team of the month’. Working closely with the buying and merchandising team, we redefined key priority locations for stock allocation (eg. key tourist locations) and established a set of promotional mechanics and point of sales (POS) initiatives to drive sales – turning stock into cash.

The outcome was a £2m bottom line EBITDA turnaround (2010 vs 2009), resulting in the company achieving a profit in June 2011 for the first time in many years. We identified 4 non-profitable stores (which were closed) and opened 7 new stores (5 permanent, 2 pop-up), ‘refreshing’ interiors/exteriors in 5 key central London locations, optimising available capital expenditure to deliver best value. A close focus was kept on cost control, including the implementation of a payroll model, which resulted in clawing back the £75k overspend we had inherited, resulting in a 2010 year-end saving of £35k versus budget.