Cath Kidston boss poached by Dr Martens

image copyrightBen A Pruchnie / Cath Kidston
image captionCath Kidston's Kenny Wilson is to head British footwear brand Dr Martens

Cath Kidston's chief executive Kenny Wilson is leaving the retailer to join British bootmaker Dr Martens.

Mr Wilson, who has been with Cath Kidston since 2011, is credited with expanding its overseas business and doubling sales from £60m to £130m.

From just four stores overseas seven years ago, Cath Kidston now has 220 stores globally.

Dr Martens said it was "delighted" to appoint Mr Wilson as its new chief executive.

Prior to joining Cath Kidston, Mr Wilson spent 19 years working for jeans giant Levi Strauss, where he rose to the post of president in Europe.

"Kenny brings with him a wealth of experience of working for high profile, well-known, international brands and will be a fantastic leader for our already strong management team," said Paul Mason, chairman of Dr Martens.

image copyrightDr Martens

The Dr Martens brand is owned by investment firm Permira Funds, which acquired it for £300m in 2013.

The retailer now has 95 stores in 63 countries, as well as 56 concessions in South Korea.

New leadership

A spokesman for Cath Kidston said the company had found a replacement chief executive and would be making an announcement soon.

Cath Kidston was the brainchild of Catherine Kidston, who opened her first shop in Holland Park, London in 1993. selling colourful hand-embroidered tea-towels, cushion covers, cotton bags, ironing board covers and renovated second-hand furniture.

Over a third of the brand's sales are now made overseas, and Japan is its second largest market.

image copyrightCath Kidston
image captionCath Kidston has 220 stores around the world

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