Tanya Langley-Jones leaves P&O Ferries – 24/03/05

UK. P&O Ferries’ Senior Category Manager Tanya Langley-Jones has departed the company amicably as the result of a restructure of its retail operations.

Langley-Jones, a well-regarded and straight-talking executive, was highly rated by the supply community, particularly in the fragrances and cosmetics sector. She has not been replaced pending the wide-ranging internal review. This is being carried out in conjunction with retail consultant Rebecca Cotterall who is taking over Langley-Jones’ responsibilities in the interim.

P&O, in common with rival SeaFrance, has been hard hit in recent weeks by delays and cancellations caused by berthing problems in French ports. A berth collapse in Calais in February lead to major capacity problems, leaving the port with only two berths big enough for large cross-channel ferries (one of which was closed for repairs soon after).

And just as business threatened to get back to normal, France’s CGT Union began a series of strikes. Further berthing problems since at one point saw P&O down to a one-berth operation – not the perfect lead-up to the crucial Easter period. Currently only two berths are working in Calais out of a possible seven due to malfunctioning.

Passenger traffic and travel retail sales have been hard hit as a result. “Business is dire,” noted one supplier, “and freight is taking a priority over booked car passes. The poor retailer has not had it easy this year.”

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