House of Fraser has axed four merchandising directors and placed a significant proportion of its buying and merchandising teams into consultation amid a shake-up of its brand strategy, Drapers understands.
According to sources, director of merchandising womenswear Chris Pitts is to leave his role along with Michaela Wray, director of merchandising for home, Rob Parkin, director of merchandising for mens and childrenswear and Carol Pennicott, merchandising director for fashion accessories.
Drapers also understands that House of Fraser is dropping eight of its 11 own-brand labels, with only Biba, Issa and Linea Home to remain beyond autumn 18.
Drapers has contacted HoF for comment.
In a statement on 21 June HoF said it will focus on the “best selection” of contemporary brands, exclusivity and an agile response to trends as it battles to keep with consumers.
David Walker-Smith, chief product and trading officer, said: “Since joining House of Fraser, I have worked with the team to review our current product offering and what became crystal clear is our customers love brands. Customers now want more from their shopping experience as a business, we need to make sure we are exceeding expectations.”
Creditors, including landlords, are due to vote on HoF’s company voluntary arrangement (CVA) plans on 22 June. The 31 store closures, which include its Oxford Street flagship, will affect 6,000 members of staff.