Nov 25, 2019
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Clarks calls in McKinsey & Co to "transform' brand

Nov 25, 2019

Struggling footwear giant Clarks is looking at its options and has called in consultants from McKinsey & Co-to conduct a review of the business. The result could mean store closures and job losses.


Clarks, which has 553 UK/Ireland shops and a workforce of around 12,000 people, has also hired an interim finance chief, with Philip de Klerk (formerly CEO of materials maker Low & Bonar) joining. The shoe chain’s existing finance director Paul Kenyon is leaving to rake up a new role outside of the fashion sector.

The McKinsey news was reported in the Sunday times at the weekend with the newspaper also saying McKinsey is helping new CEO Giorgio Presca “to transform the brand”. It also quoted the company saying de Klerk’s experience would be “invaluable”.

The news of McKinsey’s involvement came after Clarks reported an £82.9 million net loss for its latest year, with the company also taking a £50 million hit from the reduced value of its stores in the US and UK. At the time, it called its stores “a real drag on business performance”.

The almost-100-year-old company is still controlled by descendants of its founders and, despite having been a high street stalwart for most of its history, had warned earlier this month that it’s under “significant stress” and is planning “meaningful” store closures.

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