Dr Martens shares dive to record low after profit warning and chief’s exit

Boot maker Dr Martens has said its boss will step down later this year after it warned over profits again in the face of weak US demand.

Shares dropped by as much as a quarter to a record low as a result.

The London-based company said its struggles in the US have continued into the new financial year, with US wholesale revenues due to be down by double-digits year-on-year.

It said orders for items in its Autumn/Winter collection are “significantly down” against last year.

DR Martens Camden Store 2
Dr Martens Camden Store (Dr Martens/PA)

The retail firm predicted the drop in wholesale demand could knock profits by around £20 million for the year.

Dr Martens also warned that it expects profits to also be hit by around £35 million due to continued cost inflation and investments through the business.

The group said, in a worst-case scenario, it believes profits for the new financial year (full-year 2025) could plummet to a third of levels seen in the previous year.

Chief executive officer Kenny Wilson said: “The full-year 2025 outlook is challenging, and the whole organisation is focused on our action plan to reignite boots demand, particularly in the USA, our largest market.

“The nature of USA wholesale is that when customers gain confidence in the market we will see a significant improvement in our business performance, but we are not assuming that this occurs in FY25.”

On Tuesday, Dr Martens also confirmed that Mr Wilson will leave the company this year after six years as chief executive officer.

He will be replaced in the role by Ije Nwokorie, who is currently chief brand officer at the business, before the end of the current financial year.

Mr Nwokorie has been a non-executive director at the business since January 2021, before taking over the chief brand officer role earlier this year.

Ije Nwokorie
Ije Nwokorie is currently chief brand officer of Dr Martens (DrMartens/PA)

He was previously senior director for Apple Retail as well as chief executive of brand consultancy Wolff Olins.

Mr Nwokorie said: “I am thrilled that I will be the next CEO of Dr Martens. We have a phenomenal brand, an excellent product range and a passionate culture. I am looking forward to working with Kenny through this transition year.”

Mr Wilson said: “Dr Martens is an incredible brand powered by our fantastic people.

“After six years in the role, I feel that the time is right to hand over this year, and I am excited that Ije will be my successor.

“I have enjoyed working with Ije, both as a board member and in the executive leadership team in recent months, and I have seen his brand knowledge and passion first-hand.”