Boohoo has poached Trainline’s former finance lead as its new chief financial officer (CFO), just weeks after the retailer posted its first-ever sales drop.
It comes amid a turbulent period for fast fashion brands. Rival retailer Missguided collapsed in late May, after being hammered by spiralling supply chain costs.
Shaun McCabe, who has sat on Boohoo’s board since 2020, will take the reins from Neil Catto in September, as Catto transitions into a new executive director position to oversee “strategic projects”.
Outgoing CFO Catto, who previously held senior financial roles with BT and Carphone Warehouse, had helped grow the online retailer’s revenue from £20m to almost £2bn today, with Boohoo amassing some 20m active customers over his 11-year tenure.
However, Boohoo’s eight per cent sales drop, alongside a one per cent dip in revenue, suggests the retailer needs a chief with rocky fiscal waters in recent memory.
Boohoo reaped the rewards of Covid-19 lockdown measures, enjoying spikes in sales and profit in 2020, to £1.75bn and £124.7m respectively, as it upped its loungewear offering to homebound Brits.
While Trainline reported a huge £100m loss for the year restrictions sent sales plummeting amid record low commuter levels and rail travel.
The fashion firm said last month it had been anticipating a slowdown of sales as consumers’ online shopping, amid a cost of living crisis which is significantly eating into the public’s spending power, while also stoking the desire to bunker down and tuck spare cash into savings.
And while £100m losses may spell disaster for some firms, Trainline has since bounced back, reporting that its revenue surged 151 per cent to £78m in the six months to November 2021.
The app had wrestled with climbing rates of remote working. However, eventually saw net ticket sales grow 179 per cent to £1bn, recovering 79 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
McCabe also helped Trainline swing to an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of £15m, compared with a £16m loss in 2020, and shrunk net debt down from £241m to £169m.