Andrea Bennett, the trading director at retail chain The Works, is to leave her role this summer after more than three decades with the company.
C.e.o. Gavin Peck confirmed the news in a statement to The Bookseller. He said: "After more than 30 years at The Works, our trading director Andrea Bennett will be leaving the business in the summer. In that time, Andrea has played an influential role in the growth of our business, building and evolving our product offering, overseeing us entering new categories and improving our product quality. Books will always remain a core part of our exciting product offering and we will continue to champion making books accessible to all, an ambition very close to Andrea’s heart.
"On behalf of all colleagues at The Works I would like to thank Andrea for everything she has done for the business and we wish her all the best for the future. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic our business strategy is evolving and we will soon be announcing a new trading director to bring fresh insight and help lead us through this evolution."
The Bookseller understands Bennett's departure was a mutual decision based on the changing nature of the business, which has become a bigger online player, especially since the coronavirus pandemic.
In an update last month the retail chain announced a 19% decline in total sales year on year for the 53 weeks to 2nd May 2021 despite online revenues rocketing 121%.
The company, which sells books, arts, crafts, toys and stationery, said it had delivered a “resilient” performance despite lockdown restrictions, with falling sales partially offset by online growth and strong demand when stores were open. Total sales were down from £254.6m the previous year to £206.2m. The period saw 16 weeks when all its stores were closed and another eight when at least 75% were shut.