Mark Fenwick and family
Fenwick, the fifth generation to run his family's eponymous retail empire, has announced he will step down as executive chairman later this month, to be replaced by Richard Pennycook, a former Co-op boss and the first non-family member to run the company. Fenwick, 69 on Thursday, remains busy with his music management business, run from an office in the New Bond Street flagship store. He cut his teeth in the 1970s managing T Rex and Roxy Music, and has masterminded this summer's 54-date tour of north America by Pink Floyd veteran Roger Waters (qv).
The retail business posted a record £44.2m profit on £302m sales in 2015-16, but faces an uphill struggle to compete with out-of-town shopping centres and online retailing, which it does not offer. In January it announced the closure of its Leicester branch after more than 50 years in operation. It still has 10 stores around the country, including two Bentalls branches in Kingston upon Thames and in Bracknell, Berkshire. John James Fenwick – known as JJ – opened his first shop in Newcastle in 1882, moving after three years to the Northumberland Street premises the business still occupies. New Bond Street followed in 1891 and pioneered the department store concept.
With £595.8m net assets, the company is easily worth £630m. Dividends and a £100m property portfolio take the Fenwick family, including Mark's cousins Adam, 56, and Hugo, 52, both managing directors, to £730m.