New Look founder Tom Singh yesterday relinquished his executive duties after spearheading a transformation at the chain he bought back in 2004.
Mr Singh will become non- executive director following a year in which the group, which has a large number of outlets in Birmingham and the Black Country, saw sales rise six per cent to a record £862.2 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increase from £159 million to £174.1 million - contributing to a rise of 48 per cent over the past two years.
Changes since the company was taken off the stock market have seen New Look open a new distribution centre near Stoke and overhaul its supply chain, as well as roll out menswear ranges and pursue a strategy of opening larger stores.
With the company now looking to move to its next stage of growth, New Look said its founder had decided to step down from his executive role.
The 56 - year - old, who opened the first New Look store in 1969 and led the £700 million takeover in 2004, has played a key role in the overhaul of the supply chain.
The company said the new warehouse would support further growth for the chain after it acquired 35 former Littlewoods stores from Associated British Foods as part of plans adding 800,000 square feet of selling space in the current financial year.
It added 300,000 sq ft of space last year, taking its estate to 2.5 million sq ft. In Birmingham it has outlets in the Bullring, Pallasades, Perry Bar, The Fort and Erdington. It also has stores Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall, Merry Hill and West Bromwich.
The company is adding stores in France and Belgium and extending its ranges to include men's and children's clothing.
New Look said in January it plans to extend men's wear from 66 stores as of March to another 100 outlets. It has about 550 stores in the UK and 215 outlets in France.
New Look yesterday added in a statement: "A combination of the investments that have been made in the business, together with the planned increase in the selling space and larger stores format, position us well to increase sales, grow market share and continue to grow profits."
Meanwhile, department store chain John Lewis, which has a major outlet at Solihull's Touchwood shopping centre, said that demand for World Cup merchandise and flat- screen TVs ahead of the soccer tournament which starts next week helped drive an 18.5 per cent rise in weekly sales.
John Lewis, which also runs Waitrose food supermarkets, said the rise in department store sales in the week ended May 27 was the second biggest rise in its financial year so far. "Sales on flat-panel (TV) products reached a new high," the group said as it reported a 42 per cent rise in electrical, home and technology sales.
"All areas of menswear performed well against last year, with World Cup-related merchandise proving even more popular."
John Lewis said business was helped by mixed weather conditions, which contrasted with a heatwave during the same period of the year and before that subdued trading.
Waitrose sales rose 8.2 per cent during the week, giving an increase for the John Lewis group as a whole of 12 per cent.
The figures chime with the latest survey from the Confederation of British Industry, which showed UK sales volumes in May growing at the fastest rate for 18 months.