Former Whitbread boss to chair Mothercare

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The Independent Online

Alan Parker, the former Whitbread chief executive, is to join Mothercare as a non-executive chairman later this month. Mr Parker, pictured, will replace Ian Peacock, who is stepping down from the role after nine years.

Mr Parker joins Mothercare as the retailer suffers from tough high-street trading conditions. The baby and maternity-products retailer reported a 23 per cent decline in full-year profits in May and announced the closure of more than a quarter of its UK stores.

Mr Parker, also a non-executive director at Kesa Electricals, the owner of Comet, will take up his new position on 15 August, with Mr Peacock remaining at Mothercare as a non-executive director until October.

The new Mothercare chairman is credited with having driven Whitbread's hugely successful Costa Coffee and Premier Inns brands during his time at the leisure company. His experience of taking Costa international could prove invaluable to Mothercare which hopes its overseas business will offset weakness in the UK.