Luxury UK-based retailer END has made a notable change in leadership with the appointment of Parker Gundersen as its new CEO. This move comes as founders Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker step back from direct control of the company and take on key positions on the board. Gundersen brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having worked in various sectors including retail, luxury goods, e-commerce, and strategy consulting for over 20 years. He previously held positions as President of Retail Operations at LVMH’s travel retail subsidiary DFS Group and as CEO of Asia-focused e-tailer Zalora.

The decision to bring Gundersen on board follows the majority investment in END by investment firm Carlyle last year. With this move, the luxury, streetwear, and sportswear retail platform aims to position itself for the next phase of growth and development under new leadership. Gundersen will officially assume the CEO role later this summer, while Ashworth will transition into the position of Vice-Chairman. He will work closely with Chairman Patrizio di Marco, who joined the company in 2021. Ashworth and Parker will continue to play active roles on the board, providing support and guidance in the realization of key strategic growth initiatives.

Ashworth and Parker expressed their confidence in Gundersen’s ability to lead the company, citing his extensive background in international luxury retail and his expertise in both offline and online channels. They highlighted his understanding of the unique relationships END has built with its brand partners and community, as well as his recognition of the importance of service and customer experience in driving customer engagement. The founders expressed their excitement about Gundersen joining the team and leading the company into its next chapter.

Reflecting on the company’s progress since the investment by Carlyle, Ashworth and Parker emphasized the significant advancements made by END over the past year. These include enhancing its digital and marketing capabilities, opening a flagship store in Newcastle, expanding its senior leadership team, launching a womenswear platform, and nurturing its unique relationship with brands and customers. With these foundations in place, Ashworth and Parker believe it is the right time for them to fully transition to the board and support the next generation of leaders in further developing the END brand, curation, community, and global platform.

Useful links:
1. END official website
2. Carlyle investment firm