Pumpkin Patch chairman Peter Schuyt says Bunt is the right person for the job in the current challenging climate.
“Luke has made a significant contribution and has demonstrated the necessary skills and experience to address the complex challenges faced by the business at the present time,” Schuyt says.
Former Pumpkin Patch chief executive Di Humphries stepped down last month.
She said it was time for a new CEO to take the company through to the next stage of the business improvement progress.
“Good progress has been made on product design, supply chain improvement, brand positioning and laying the foundations for the business transformation program,” Humphries said.
“A continued focus on these areas remains critical to the ongoing improvement of the company.”
Bunt was the chief financial officer of The Warehouse Group for ten years, from 2002 to 2012.
He then was a consultant in business planning for three years, as well as a director on the board of Comvita, Flooring Xtra and Prolife Foods, as well as Pumpkin Patch.
He will assume his role from 3 August.
Briscoe Group managing director Rod Duke, who has a 10 percent stake in
Pumpkin Patch, is leaving the Pumpkin Patch board.
The reason for his leaving is due to increased commitments with Briscoe Group.
It was previously speculated that he would step in and take control of Pumpkin Patch. Instead, he has gone after Kathmandu.
Bunt has stepped up at Pumpkin Patch at a time when its expected 2016 earnings are going to be significantly lower than this year’s earnings.
Earning expectations before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation amount to about $14 million in the year ending July 31. Pumpkin Patch says this will be a modest loss.
Pumpkin Patch shares have dropped to a record low 17 cents. They have decreased 55 percent over the past year.
It is in the midst of aggressive discounting of stock to compete with cheaper online rivals.
Schuyt remains optimistic on being able to return the company to its former glory.
He says positive momentum has been made in Pumpkin Patch’s core retail and online channels.
“Although the earnings expectation for next year is disappointing, the company remains confident in the value and potential of the Pumpkin Patch brand and is committed to embarking on the change process necessary to deliver the results that stakeholders are expecting of the company,” he says.