New Clerys boss appointed to revitalise struggling store
US investment firm Gordon Brothers has appointed a new managing director at troubled department store Clerys, just weeks after buying the business for about €14m.
Gordon Brothers has named Londoner Dominic Prendergast as the new managing director. He replaces PJ Timmins, who stepped down last week.
Mr Prendergast (53) has taken up the post with immediate effect.
He started his retail career in 1975 as a trainee manager with the recently defunct Allders department store in Croydon, London.
He has previously been a board member at Mothercare and was retail director of its Early Learning Centre chain.
He was national retail manager at BHS from 1995 to 1998, and more recently he was retail director at British chocolatier Thornton's.
In 2008, he was appointed retail director for UK camera chain Jessops, which was saved from administration in 2009. Mr Prendergast left later that year.
Mr Prendergast has a tough task ahead of him to revitalise Clerys.
The chain had been labouring under a big debt pile, a blunted retail environment and stiffer competition.
Frank Morton, the London-based chief executive of Gordon Brothers Europe, welcomed Mr Prendergast's appointment.
He said Mr Prendergast's appointment represented an achievement for Clerys and presented an opportunity to "address decisively" the challenges it faced.
"Dominic will bring a renewed impetus and momentum to the business through fresh and innovative thinking, backed up by a wealth of experience in the retail sector and a track record of building shareholder value," he said.
Mr Prendergast is also managing director of Oxford Summer School, a retail learning and development programme. He will continue in that role while managing Clerys.