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Claire's takes on trendy Topshop

Accessories chain Claire's has recruited Melanie Haworth to the new role of commercial director for the UK, as it aims to take on Topshop and New Look to become less price- and more trend-led.

Haworth, who rejoined Claire's last month after leaving three years ago to join WHSmith, will head both the trend and product departments, and buying and merchandising in the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium. She was buying and merchandising director before she left.

Haworth told Drapers that Claire's would be more trend-driven. "We want to compete more with New Look and Topshop. We will focus more on embellished lines at £3.50 than on basic styles at £1.50," she said.

She said there were "substantial" plans to grow her team. "I left Claire's because its trends became too US-driven. Now it has been taken private, we can turn decisions around a lot quicker," she said.

Claire's was bought by Apollo Management for £1.5 billion last month.

Managing director for Europe Mark Smith has also returned to Claire's after five years.

Recruitment firm Barracuda Search has been signed to recruit a UK boss.

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