Wyevale chair expands role following resignation

Wyevale Garden Centres chairman Jim Hodkinson has added the chief executive title to his role after the surprise resignation of Barry Stevenson last week. Hodkinson will continue as executive chairman as well as taking on the full-time responsibilities of chief executive.

In a statement, Stevenson said: "It has been very gratifying to lead Wyevale through the key period of establishing our market vision into the business and, helped by our aggressive acquisition programme, firmly establishing it as the UK's foremost and fastest-growing garden centre retailer." He could not be contacted for further comment.

Hodkinson said Wyevale would now enter the next stage of its development by leveraging its wider geographical and product coverage with the goal to extend the company's market leadership.

HW understands Wyevale had a tougher Christmas period than expected and there may be pressure from its corporate investors for better results, with Hodkinson seen as the man who can lead the company quickly to a greater market position.

Wyevale operates 121 centres after acquiring several news stores, including Blooms, Bridgemere Garden World and Sanders GardenWorld, over the past 18 months.

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