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Nick Samuel steps down as Chief Executive of Hobbs



Nick Samuel, the chief executive of Hobbs, is ready to step down from his position after 7 years in the role with the women's fashion retailer. Hobbs chief operating officer Nicky Dulieu will take on the role of managing director and Tony Campbell, a former deputy chief executive of Asda, and the man who was lined up by Delta Two to chair J Sainsbury in last year's failed £10.6bn takeover attempt, will become executive chairman.

nick samuel

The changes to the quintessential English brand, Hobbs management structure has been brought about as earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation rose by 2.9% to £21.4m in the year to January 26 with sales at the ladieswear chain increasing by 3.5% to £98m. Hobbs is 63% owned by 3i, the private equity house and 37% owned by the management. Mr. Samuel will be keeping his well earned stake. An absolute handover date has not yet been finalised.

Mr. Samuel will remain a non-executive director and shareholder at one of the UK's most exciting ladieswear brands but will also look for new roles outside. Mr. Samuel has proudly transformed Hobbs over the years, leading the company through two management buyouts and has seen turnover increase from £30m to £98m in that time. Nick Samuel has been considering taking on new roles, keeping within retail for some time now so watch this space.

Despite the tough economic conditions and unusual weather patterns, Hobbs has still managed to achieve creditable full-year results against the odds. Market conditions are expected to remain somewhat subdued throughout the remainder of the year as demand will be steeply susceptible to consumer confidence and the credit crunch crisis. Retail is becoming increasingly competitive because of the current economic state and speculation which may result in discount wars between rivals.

Nick Samuel, has been a strong supporter of Fashion Capital's Profile events which aims to bridge the gap between Graduate Fashion Week and London Fashion Week providing a platform for talented up and coming designers to showcase their collections to a range of buyers, retailers and press. Profile will be flying over to New York this September and Mr. Samuel has high hopes for this unique event, "Profile is as good as if not better than London Fashion week". Profile will feature Fashion Enter designers during New York Fashion Week over 10th and 11th September 08.

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