Whittards of Chelsea

Green Park was instructed by EPIC Private Equity to secure a managing director/CEO and finance director for Whittard of Chelsea. After a long period of expansion, growth and success, Whittard of Chelsea was acquired by EPIC in 2008. 

Following this part of its history, the business underwent a successful turnaround, with streamlined store operations and significant improvements.

Green Park undertook a search to secure a managing director to continue the future growth of the business and present a compelling opportunity – both in the UK and Internationally. The company wanted to increase the number of its stores by 50 per cent, as well as pushing e-commerce and growth through a combination of wholesale and franchise into new territories such as India and Japan.

Through global research and candidate identification, Green Park mapped a mix of businesses across retail, consumer, leisure and lifestyle. The search was focused on individuals with experience of growth and international roll-out, in addition to exposure to branded goods and environments.

Green Park successfully recruited CEO Sarah Holton, who was appointed and who immediately took on the key deliverables sought by EPIC.

Over three years, Sarah worked to streamline and refocus the business, and successfully led Whittard from trading losses to sustainable EBITDA profit of over £2 million. She developed brand to premium trading, substantially reducing product discounting. Implemented a multi-channel strategy, including a CRM database over 500k customers. Optimised retail estate and delivered key London relocations to protect long-term profit and restructured the senior management team to deliver a five-year plan.