Hobbycraft boss John Colley has left the business just two months after taking the helm, Retail Week can reveal.

The former B&Q and Screwfix executive has stepped down from his role with immediate effect, in what is the latest in a string of shock retail boardroom exits.

It comes just hours after Mothercare chief customer officer Andy Harding quit to take the helm at Alamy and within weeks of the sudden departures of Dunelm boss John Browett, Notonthehighstreet chief executive Simon Belsham and New Look’s Anders Kristiansen.

Retail Week revealed in April that Bridgepoint-owned Hobbycraft had poached Colley from Majestic Wine, where he had served as managing director of its retail division.

During his time with the wine specialist, Colley rebuilt its senior leadership team, increased its focus on customer service and shopper loyalty and rolled out click-and-collect and next-day delivery propositions. Colley departed the retailer in May and officially succeeded Catriona Marshall in the Hobbycraft hot seat in June. The retailer said it would unveil Colley’s successor “shortly.”

A Hobbycraft spokesman said: “After a short period as CEO John Colley has decided to move on and he goes with our good wishes. “The business continues to trade strongly ahead of last year and of budget, and has a strong management team in place. “We will announce shortly who will assume leadership of the business. We remain very confident about the future.” Colley said: “After 8 exciting weeks at Hobbycraft I have decided to step down as CEO. “It is a unique business with great prospects, however the fit wasn’t right for me. I wish the team all the best for the future as I look for new opportunities.”

In June, Hobbycraft revealed that currency headwinds and business investment had taken its toll on its bottom line in the year to February 19.

The retailer’s EBITDA slumped 29% to £7.7m, compared to £10.9m the previous year.

Hobbycraft said, however, that profits had “resumed their previous upwards trajectory” since the start of its current financial year.

As published by Retail Week 11th September 2017.