Taking early retirement is the dream for many retail executives, but not everyone is cut out for a life of golf and gardening. More than ten years after retiring in 2007 following a 25-year career with M&S, Andrew Moore is now busier than ever.
This week Moore was confirmed as the new chief commercial officer of Wilko, having spent most of the first decade of his ‘second career’ at Asda, latterly as chief merchandising officer where he was accountable for the sales and profitability for all Asda trading divisions.
Moore has also built up an extensive portfolio of non-executive and advisory roles at the same time as acting as a cancer charity Trustee and his breadth of business and leadership experience will be of huge value to Wilko as it develops its product-led strategy.
From a product perspective, Moore and Wilko seem like a good fit. His experience spans food and general merchandise as well as clothing where Moore has been central to the development of two iconic retailer brands – M&S’s Per Una, which he helped George Davis develop and launch, and Asda’s eponymous George label which Moore helped grow into a global brand.
He also boasts international experience having upped sticks to South Africa following his brief retirement to set up his own retail consultancy, advising clients including Woolworths.
Wilko has made some strong hires of late, bringing in high calibre people from a PLC background. These include former Arcadia man Craig McGregor as its new retail director and Alex Russo who worked with Moore in his previous role as Asda’s finance director.
In common with other value retailers, however, the business faces challenges as consumers seek out the best bargains online and on the high street. Current profitability is well below its recent peak in 2012/13, albeit sales are creeping back up again after several years in reverse. Multichannel performance is also starting to show improvement after a slow start.
Wilko family director Lisa Wilkinson is surely right in saying that Moore’s appointment will strengthen and complement the retailer’s existing leadership team through the next stage of its development.
As for Moore’s garden….that will just have to wait!