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Exclusive: Redundancy consultations at House of Fraser HQ

A number of head office staff at House of Fraser have been put into a consultation process as part of the department store retailer’s five-year strategy, Drapers can reveal.

Drapers understands that ”several departments” across the retailer’s head office have been affected, including merchandising and design.

One source indicated that Trudy Read, director for international merchandising, is involved in the process. Drapers contacted Read but she declined to comment.

A House of Fraser spokeswoman declined to confirm any specific names, but said: “In line with our strategy to focus on becoming a more customer-centric, experience-led retailer, House of Fraser announced organisational changes which will support the transformation of the business.

“As a result, House of Fraser has entered into a consultation process with a small number of colleagues over potential redundancies within head office. Further than that we cannot comment.”

Store staff are understood to not be affected by the move.

It comes after the announcement earlier this week that digital director David Seeby has left the business after six months in the role. Seeby, who joined the department store chain in January from Marks & Spencer where he was head of merchandising and analytics, is understood to be leaving for personal reasons.

Meanwhile, House of Fraser appointed former Aviva director Michelle Maynard as its new chief people officer on 4 July.

HoF’s new strategy was revealed in December and focuses on driving efficiencies across its supply chain and distribution network, as well as centring on customer experience and maximising its existing store estate.

At the time HoF said the strategy is an acknowledgment of a consumer shift in spend away from retail into leisure and aims to future-proof the business and position the retailer “ahead of the curve, rather than behind it”.

Alex Williamson, former CEO at leisure company Goodwood, joins House of Fraser on 31 July as the retailer’s new CEO, replacing Nigel Oddy.


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