Source: Poundstretcher

Lawlor has a career in retail spanning three decades

Poundstretcher has appointed Derek Lawlor as its new CEO.

Lawlor was previously chief merchandising officer at Asda.

In his new position at Poundstretcher, he is succeeding Aziz Tayub, who is moving to the role of chairman at the variety discounter with immediate effect.

Lawlor has a retail career spanning three decades, as a category director at Tesco before joining Asda as vice president of fresh food in 2015. He was appointed Asda CMO in 2019 and is also chairman of IPL at the supermarket.

He joins Poundstretcher as it concludes the final stages of a company voluntary arrangement entered into in 2020.

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Derek Lawlor as the CEO of Poundstretcher,” said Tayub.

“Derek is joining Poundstretcher at an exciting time for the business. Poundstretcher has now completed its CVA obligations and is working with the CVA supervisor to conclude the formalities and allow us to have our full focus on growing the business.”

Tayub said Lawlor brought with him “a wealth of experience”, adding: “I’m looking forward to working with Derek as I know he is a great fit for our business and will lead us through the next phase of our growth strategy.”

Latest accounts at Companies House revealed Poundstretcher had returned to profit despite falling revenues as loss-making stores were closed in the CVA.

Turnover was down by £86.3m to £325.3m in the year to 31 March 2021, while operating profit rose to £88.3m, up from a £45.3m loss the previous year.

The company traded from 371 stores at the end of the latest accounting period, compared with 451 a year earlier.

“The CVA gave the company the opportunity to close a number of loss-making stores which had a drag on profits,” said the strategic report in the accounts.