Managing director of Warner Bros Studio Stores in the UK Stuart Soloway has been replaced by Peter Dickson. The shake-up comes within a month of the president of its US parent company publicly criticising Soloway’s management of the ten-strong chain.
According to Dennis Adomaitis, executive vice-president of the worldwide chain: “We are pleased with our business in the UK and are optimistic about the continued growth and brand exposure. Our UK expansion plans will be finalised by the end of this year.”
But last month, Warner Bros Studio Stores president Peter Starrett admitted at an international retailing conference that its UK operations had paid over the odds to acquire large, prime-site stores.
Starrett suggested that any further UK expansion would be based on smaller, less costly outlets.
The chain operates ten retail sites within the UK, selling a range of movie and cartoon-based char-acters including Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo.
The chain’s flagship store on London’s Regent Street is reported to cost 600,000 a year in rent. It also operates stores in Lakeside Thurrock, and prime retail sites in Sheffield, Manchester and Glasgow.
Dickson joins the UK chain after four years as director of retail operations and marketing for Viyella Ladies Division, where he was responsible for 175 outlets retailing the Jaegar, Viyella and Van Heusen brands. He was previously a regional controller for Fosters Menswear.