Derek Lawlor has left the role of CEO at discount variety retail chain Poundstretcher after less than 12 months following disagreements on the future direction of the business. Lawlor ends his period of gardening leave later this month.
Poundstretcher posted a 16 per cent fall in its sales, to Y/E 31st March 2022, to £273m. It had closed 17 stores during the period, reduced its headcount by 1000, and suffered a pre-tax profit fall from £88m to £11.7m.
The business said in a statement: “The national challenges around lorry driver shortages and global challenges around container shortages impacted our ability to maintain stock levels, which resulted in a number of stock shortages across the estate.
“The stock shortages led to some losses during the first half of 2022-23 and, as a result, the company reduced the level of promotional activity and returned to a more normalised margin position.”
Owner Aziz Tayub said that the business was heading in the right direction following a recent CVA and said that he wants to float the business in order to be able to open 50 new stores every year and take a bigger share of the market.
He said: “By the end of June we will have finalised the most recent accounts and will be well out of the CVA and have tidied up the business and be looking at a potential IPO.
“It will happen when the market is right, more than likely this year.”