Wallis chief nets top role at Early Learning Centre

Early Learning Centre, the educational toy store owned by John Menzies, has appointed its first dedicated marketing director after a break of more than a year.

Fiona Davis moves from fashion retailer Wallis, where she also held the title of marketing director. It is not known if Wallis is seeking a replacement for her. A spokeswoman says: “We are looking at the whole job and how best to proceed.”

Early Learning Centre managing director Mike France has been overseeing the company’s marketing since his appointment six months ago.

The company has undergone a management shake-up since last July, when its then chief executive Ian Duncan and managing director Andrew Crankshaw left suddenly.

France says: “Davis will help in the implementation of our new direction, which aims to bring us into the modern era, while still reflecting our heritage as an educational brand.”

He is in the process of hiring a design consultancy to develop a new store layout for the 221-strong chain.

Early Learning Centre appointed CDP to its 1.5m advertising account at the end of last year. France says: “There is no current ad campaign. We are now concentrating on putting the fundamentals into place.”

John Menzies is planning to sell the Early Learning Centre chain within the next five years.

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