Mamas & Papas has announced Chief Operating Officer Nathan Williams as its new Chief Executive Officer to lead the company’s next phase of growth, which it said would include expansion into new and existing international markets.

Current CEO Mark Saunders, who joined the business three years ago as Chief Transformation Officer, will become Executive Chairman. 

Mr Williams joined Mamas & Papas in 2018 as Merchandise Director following senior merchandising roles at Very and Primark, becoming COO in 2020. Since then, he’s been a key figure in the company’s turnaround, leading its successful concession rollout with Next and Marks & Spencer in the UK, innovating its range and implementing the brand’s new ESG strategy. 

Over the past three years, the business – which designs, wholesales and retails travel systems, nursery furniture and children’s clothing ranges – has reversed a £6m loss (ebitda) to profit of over £11m and grown sales from £95m to £126m in the year ending March 2022 as a result. It recently reported record Christmas trading figures, with sales up 16% in the eight weeks to 25th December as shoppers flocked to its stores during the retail sector’s crucial trading period. 

The company already sells in over 30 overseas markets through a network of distributors, agents franchisees and licensing partners. Mr Williams said the business had a unique opportunity to accelerate its international presence thanks to its reputation as a premium, design-led brand with British heritage.    

Nathan Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Mamas & Papas, said: “We’ve built excellent momentum in the past few years in all areas of the business, from our store footprint to our digital offering, from our product to our purpose and from our domestic market to our overseas partnerships. This has helped us win a record share of the market, which is set for further growth. 

“With the continuing support of our investors and with Mark as Chairman, I’m looking forward to delivering our long-term growth strategy and fulfilling our goal of being the most accessible nursery brand with an unrivalled commitment to its customers. This means more concessions, more international trade and further investment in our brand, product, communities and colleagues as we aim to become the global nursery brand of choice.”

Mark Saunders, Executive Chairman of Mamas & Papas, said: “Having helped design and deliver our turnaround strategy over the past three years, Nathan is ideally placed to lead the business during this next period. As a business, we have an unprecedented opportunity to grow our scale and share. I’ll be working closely with him, the rest of the executive and our shareholders to help realise the ambition we’ve set for the business.”

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