“We are very excited to merge the two businesses, enabling the brands to continue to expand,” said Morris in a statement. “We will be working hard to grow the business through both continued organic growth and complementary acquisitions.”
Brand Collective’s portfolio of brands now includes Clarks, Hush Puppies, Shoes & Sox, Superdry, Replay, Review, Black Pepper, Yarra Trail, Everlast, Lonsdale, Julius Marlow, Grosby, Mossimo, Marco Polo, and Volley.
Lisa Shalem, previously GM at Shoes & Sox, has assumed the role of executive GM of the footwear division.
Inside Retail understands that Caleb Brown, Brand Collective’s CEO pre-merger, has left the business.
The merger follows Australian entrepreneur and National Basketball League owner Larry Kestelman’s acquisition of PAS Group and Brand Collective in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Koko Black CEO to step down to focus on health
Koko Black CEO Nicolas Georges has announced his intention to step down as CEO and take “a break from all activities for a couple of months” to focus on his health.
In a statement posted on LinkedIn this week, Georges wrote that the stress of managing the chocolate brand over the past few years has adversely affected his health and that he is no longer able to perform the duties of a CEO to the level he believes is required.
“In the past three years, we have weathered some historical level crises whilst we were reshaping the business which critically needed that to show its true colours,” Georges wrote.
He said he is committed to ensuring a smooth transition to incoming CEO Oliver Flint, who brings a wealth of FMCG experience to Koko Black, and expects to complete the handover next month.
“I am incredibly proud of our achievements, firstly and simply surviving what an end-to-end retail business in premium chocolate […] had no right to survive, navigating the rollercoaster of manufacturing […], developing a world-class brand and premium gifting proposition […], and conquering multiple new channels […],” Georges wrote.
“It would be amazing to celebrate those milestones in normal times, but the years we have all been through, […] the Omicron havoc […] and record-high cost inflations and skill shortages, make it a unique moment in time and something I’ll be thankful and indebted to my teams forever.”
Georges aims to resume some duties with Koko Black later this year once his health has improved.
Hallenstein Brothers boss resigns suddenly
Hallenstein Brothers CEO Jason Barrow has quit the role, effective 1 May, after a decade with the menswear retailer.
In a stock-exchange announcement, Group CEO Stuart Duncan said he would assume Barrow’s role on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found.
Duncan said Barrow was leaving the role to “concentrate his energy on other opportunities”.
“His passion, integrity and commitment to retail and our business, as Hallenstein Brothers chief executive will be sincerely missed.”
Barrow joined Hallenstein as a buyer and was subsequently promoted to senior buyer and then, in 2019, to head of buying.
In February of last year, he took on the role of CEO, leading the business through the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic and overseeing the retailer’s response to the consumer trend away from formal and toward casual apparel as the pandemic spurred many people to work from home instead of offices.
Duncan also praised Barrow for driving the growth of the company’s digital business.
“He leaves an exceptionally talented team in place and the business in an excellent position for its continued growth,” said Duncan.
MedCart names marketplace expert as GM
Eighteen months after launching, online medical supplies marketplace MedCart has named Dylan Bookless as its general manager.
The appointment comes at a time of rapid growth for the startup, which is on track to deliver $10 million in revenue to over 80 retail partners this financial year.
Bookless intends to leverage his experience working at Catch and Marketplacer to drive further growth at Medcart and improve the customer experience.
“I am excited to be joining a team with such a strong foundation, leadership, and amazing growth even in the post-lockdown period,” he said.
“I believe there is a great opportunity in the medical supplies and pharmacy industries for a marketplace like ours to improve the consumer experience and make it easier for businesses to sell their products online.”
Founded by retail industry veteran Phil Leahy in October 2020, Medcart has grown from a team of four to 16 and has serviced over 50,000 B2B and B2C customers so far.