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Exclusive: Anne Horton exits Beales

Anne Horton has left her position as director of retail at department store group Beales after a year.

Anne Horton

Horton joined Beales in April 2015, having previously led fellow department Hoopers between 2004 and 2012. Between 2012 and 2015 she ran her own retail consultancy.

At Beales she was tasked with helping to turnaround the struggling chain, including by improving the selection of brands in stores.

Last month, creditors approved a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), allowing Beales to negotiate lower rents on some of its stores.

Horton told Drapers: “Having fulfilled my brief to bring better brands back to the stores, move away from the discounting model and successfully achieve the CVA it is time for me to move on. The future of Beales now lies entirely in the hands of the chairman, Stuart Lyons.”

Lyons became chairman in March 2015, shortly before former chief executive Michael Hitchcock and trading director Tony Richards left the business.

Beales creditors voted in favour of the CVA on March 24. Under the agreement, the department store group, which was founded in 1881, will reduce its rents by 70% on 11 stores for 10 months while it negotiates with landlords

Horton’s career includes stints at Harrods, Simpsons and House of Fraser. She is a trustee of the trade charity Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust.

Her next move is not yet known.

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