Two former New Look executives with a combined experience of 50 years in the fashion industry have launched a consultancy service.
Former buying and merchandising director for brands Vicki Watkin, now known as Vicki Fernyhough, and Janet Biggs, previously director of corporate social responsibility (CSR) at New Look, have set up a retail consultancy called Chalk Works.
Chalk Works will offer advice on the process of financial due diligence and on overseas growth opportunities. It will also advise small- to medium-sized firms on how they can add value to their businesses. The pair will also work on market reviews, store assessments, increasing operational fitness in buying, merchandising and design, plus planning and CSR strategies.
Chalk Works has already been hired by New Look founder Tom Singh to look at market opportunities for his Rianta Capital investment firm.
Biggs joined New Look in 1992 and Fernyhough started at the young fashion retailer in 1988. Both held a number of roles, but were made redundant as a result of a restructuring last year.
“Given the recession and conditions in the market, many businesses may need to fundamentally review their proposition, structures and process and it’s often easier for a fresh pair of eyes to do that,” said Fernyhough.