British-born Grayston comes to The Warehouse Group from a position as president of Sears’ Footwear, Home, Fine Jewellery and Apparel division. He has been involved with the US chain of department stores since 2008, and will join TWG in December this year.
The Warehouse Group said in a release to the NZX that Grayston’s work at Sears has given him a wealth of experience in leading change from traditional retail into omnichannel and integrated retail, building profitable businesses, driving operational turnarounds, changing business models and leading high-performance teams.
Prior to Sears, Grayston was president and CEO of Foot Locker USA, Footaction and Kid’s Foot Locker in New York and other leadership roles in Canada and Europe. Nick also previously held planning, allocation and merchandising roles at a number of leading retailers in the United Kingdom including Laura Ashley, Woolworths, Debenhams and Marks and Spencer.
TWG chair Ted van Arkel says Grayston is a highly qualified retailer with extensive international experience and the skills required to drive profitable growth for TWG from the strong foundations that have been built.
“Nick’s experience in both physical stores and online is very relevant to the current growth trends in retailing,” van Arkel says.
TWG has been on the hunt for a new CEO since March, when Powell announced his resignation. He then said he was not seeking another executive role but wished to pursue a path in the faith-based not-for-profit sector. Powell has a Bachelor of Applied Theology from Carey Baptist College and is a Baptist pastor.
Powell first started with TWG in 2002, and last year indicated to the board that he didn’t foresee himself staying on as CEO past February next year. He will stay on in his current role until early next year to ensure a seamless transition.