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Harvey Nichols closes in on new chief executive

The shortlist for the top job at Harvey Nichols is “narrowing” but a decision is yet to be made, with sources indicating a handful of potential names are still in the running.

Earlier this week Drapersonline.com reported that Burberry’s former chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright had emerged as one of the frontrunners for the role, which current chief executive Joseph Wan is set to retire from in the coming months.

However, other names are also rumoured to be in the mix, including Marty Wikstrom, former chief executive of fashion and accessories at luxury brand group Richemont.

Wikstrom, who left Richemont in May, has previously worked as managing director of Harrods and president of US department store chain Nordstrom. Luxury industry sources tipped her as a possible alternative to Cartwright.

Other sources said the search has extended to candidates from China. It is not known which individuals have been approached.

Neither Cartwright nor Wikstrom could be reached by Drapers and Wan said he would not comment beyond saying the “shortlist is narrowing”.

Sources noted that a successful candidate would have some work ahead of them to rebuild the department store.

One said: “Over the past few years Harvey Nichols has certainly done well but I don’t think it’s performed as a market leader. If you look at how Selfridges has reinvented itself and how Harrods is doing so, you have to ask whether Harvey Nicks is seen as the heartbeat of fashion.”

Another added: “Brands would certainly say Selfridges had won in the battle between the two. The incoming person needs to take the business back to where it was – but to do that they need investment.”

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