Hugo Adams CEO Start-Rite

Hugo Adams is to become CEO of children’s footwear specialist, Start-Rite Shoes, taking up his new position on 19th April.

Adams’ broad industry experience spans retail, clothing, cosmetics, consumer durables and FMCG and he brings a wealth of knowledge from a variety of FTSE100 organisations and departmental functions.

Previously CEO of organic children’s clothing brand, Frugi, he drove dramatic sales and EBITDA growth.  Having held leadership positions in six market leading companies, including as ‘Chief of Staff’ to Marc Bolland at Marks & Spencer and Executive Board Director at Superdry, Adams excels at driving business growth through digital and wholesale channels and international expansion. 

Adams takes the reins from Kate Tansley who is stepping into a non-executive position due to health reasons.  She commented: “We received an incredibly high calibre of candidates for the role and put great emphasis on finding someone who would understand the purpose at the heart of the Start-Rite brand and the strong heritage in which it is built upon. We consider Hugo as a great fit for our culture.” 

Chairman, Peter Lamble added, “Start-Rite has been through significant change over the last few years and Kate steered us through the pandemic so that we emerge stronger, bolder and ambitious for the future. We look forward to welcoming Hugo and the inspirational leadership and fresh thinking that he will bring to the business.”

Adams commented: “Coming from a purpose–led business, I understand the values that are important to consumers and parents today. I feel privileged at being entrusted with driving forward this established British family brand to a digitally sophisticated consumer and feel motivated to deliver insight and business strategy to secure its success for many years to come.”

Adams comes to the role as the brand launches fresh retail partnerships with JoJo Maman Bébé and Fenwicks; product innovations with its first true vegan school shoe collection and an active online parent support hub, Feet are Fantastic.

About Start-Rite Shoes

A British family business for eight generations, Start-Rite Shoes has helped children explore in comfort and confidence for 228 years. Proudly specialist in little feet, every Start-Rite shoe is anchored in a deep understanding of the ways children live and move today.

With constant innovation at its core, the brand works with biomechanics experts to create shoes that not only support a child’s developmental needs, but also their lifestyle needs.

From first steps to school days, fearless explorers to social butterflies, Start-Rite Shoes extensive range is built around four pillars; child-specific precision fit in whole, half and multi-width fittings; targeted flexibility for natural movement at every life stage; intelligent protection precisely where it’s needed and; niggle-free comfort on any terrain.

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