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Bagniewski leaves Eve as it abandons strategy

Jas Bagniewski, ceo and co-founder of mattress etailer Eve has left the business. The company said it had lost focus and was changing its strategy.

The company is also expanding its retail presence with Dreams introducing its products, which should be in all stores in two weeks.

Sales for the first half of the year were 61% higher at £18.6m, short of expectations.

‘Trading patterns in the first six months of the year have experienced greater volatility than originally expected, which in part reflects the challenging backdrop for consumer spending. They also reflect the fact that key growth initiatives have been launched at the latter end of the half and as such are yet to generate a meaningful financial contribution,’ said the company.

‘In addition, management has made some strategic missteps, underestimating what is required to develop a meaningful footprint across Continental Europe, while losing focus on creating an aspirational sleep brand in its core markets.’

The company said it was abandoning its plans to launch in ‘multiple new countries’ in favour of ‘prioritising greater penetration in its core growth markets’. Shareholders will have to wait until September to find out which counties are considered core, but the company is likely to focus on its three largest markets: the UK, Germany and France.

It said it would not recover the sales in the second half and its UK operations would not achieve profitability by the end of the year.

Abid Ismail, cfo has become interim ceo.

‘We have fallen short of our own and the market’s high expectations and as a result have taken the tough decision to make management change. Jas has, as one of the founders, been a driving force for this business and has much to be proud of. He leaves with the Board’s best wishes for the future. In tandem with the search for a new ceo we will with immediate effect be refocusing all of our efforts on strengthening the eve brand in our core markets,’ said Paul Pindar, Eve chairman.

‘While we do not anticipate a near term improvement in the external environment, we have a healthy net cash position, our trading continues to far outstrip that of the market and should be underpinned by company growth initiatives including the Dreams partnership that we expect to benefit the traditionally stronger second half. We remain convinced that the sleep market will continue to transition online, that the opportunity to build a new brand of size and strength is significant and that eve is well placed to achieve this.’