Halfords chief executive David Wild has quit from his post with immediate effect, owing to the company’s distraught sales figures as a result of appalling weather conditions, prompting a profit warning.
Only months after launching a revamp strategy for the struggling business, Wild left the company overnight, following a board meeting last night. Chairman Dennis Millard will be in-charge of the operations until a permanent successor is found. Wild, who became chief executive in August 2008, is in line for a payoff of around £645,000.
“We made the decision last night at a board meeting. I am sure you appreciate that over time the business has been performing less well than we would have hoped. We have spent some considerable time both at the board and management level working on devising the strategy we laid out in May. We however believe it would be a good time to make a change and bring in someone to execute that strategy”, Millard said.
Yesterday, the company revealed that in adverse conditions such as a bad weather, even strategic overhauling can fail, while quoting a 10.5% fall in like-for-like sales in bicycle, camping and leisure products in the 13 weeks to 29 June.
The company reported overall like-for-like first quarter sales were down 5.6%, with retail numbers expected to remain negative for the first half of the financial year and then flat-to-negative in the second half. The retailer plans to focus on motoring, cycling and camping as apart of its strategic revamp.
Halfords predicted a depressed run for the rest of the financial year which runs through to March 2013, with pre-tax profits coming in between £62 million and £70 million.