Mamas & Papas announces new interim CEO

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YORKSHIRE-based nursery chain Mamas & Papas yesterday announced the appointment of Derek Lovelock as its interim chief executive officer.

Mr Lovelock has extensive experience in the retail industry and last year was awarded the Drapers’ Record Lifetime Achievement Award.

Until recently he was chairman of Karen Millen and Aurora Fashions, owner of the Coast, Oasis and Warehouse brands. He joins Mamas & Papas with immediate effect. Mamas & Papas recently announced that it had secured new investment from private equity group BlueGem, who will work with Mr Lovelock and the founding Scacchetti family on a comprehensive strategic review of the business.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Lovelock said: “Mamas & Papas is a fantastic, iconic brand with a fundamentally strong position in the nursery market. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Scacchetti family and BlueGem to develop and implement a plan that will both consolidate Mamas & Papas’ enviable position in the UK market and accelerate expansion internationally.”

David Scacchetti, the chairman of Mamas & Papas, added:

“I’m delighted Derek is joining us. He brings a wealth of retail experience in general and also has an excellent knowledge and understanding of the nursery market. His expertise will be a huge asset to us as we draw up plans for the future that will help us to accelerate our global expansion ambitions.”

The deal with BlueGem, which is the company behind London’s Liberty department store, was announced less than two months after Huddersfield-based Mamas & Papas revealed it was seeking external investment for the first time. Mamas & Papas, which was previously a 100 per cent family-owned business, employs more than 1,500 people and counts singer Gwen Stefani among its celebrity fans. Mamas & Papas trades in 59 countries and is opening shops in key markets such as Russia, China and the Middle East. In the year to March 31 2013, turnover rose 13 per cent to £108.2m. Founded more than 30 years ago in Huddersfield by the husband and wife team of David and Luisa Scacchetti, the couple have been joined on the management team by daughters Olivia and Amanda.