Feb 15, 2017
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Fenwick taps Co-op boss as new chairman

Feb 15, 2017

Richard Pennycook, who announced plans to step down as CEO of Co-operative Group last week, is to join department store group Fenwick as its new chairman.

Photo: Fenwick

Pennycook will be the first non-family member to chair the UK business, which was founded in 1882 by John James Fenwick and is currently headed by Mark Fenwick.

After he steps down in May, Mark Fenwick will remain as a senior advisor at the group. The family will be also represented by Adam Fenwick, who is to remain as managing director, according to media reports.

Pennycook is credited with rebuilding Co-op after its banking crisis in 2013. He will leave the Manchester company at the end of March and will be replaced by chief executive of food Steve Murrells.

According to previous reports, Pennycook will remain on Co-op’s payroll, serving as an advisor for a fee of £20,000 a month.

His appointment at Fenwick is further proof of the group’s new direction, after announcing plans to launch its first ever e-commerce platform later this year. The company has suffered from changing consumer behaviours and the rise of online shopping, leading to the decision to close its lossmaking but long-established Leicester branch in March.

Fenwick still operates 11 stores including a flagship on London’s Bond Street. No other Fenwick stores are believed to be slated for closure at present.

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