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Exclusive: Selfridges rocked by swathe of departures

Selfridges has been hit by a series of high profile departures in the last fortnight, including two from its menswear team.

Director of menswear Anita Barr and menswear buying manager Adam Kelly are both understood to have handed in their notices in the past 10 days.

It follows the news last week that buying director of womenswear, accessories and childrenswear Sebastian Manes was taking on additional responsibilities covering menswear, home and leisure. The two sets of responsibilities were combined into one role, buying and merchandising director.   

Finance director Mark Raban and Alec Latimer, company secretary, are also stepping down as is head of online Zia Zareem-Slade, who is currently on maternity leave. Her departure comes after Simon Forster joined as multichannel directorfrom Debenhams towards the end of last year.

Gary Edgley, buying manager for women’s contemporary and casualwear, is working his last week at the department store before leaving to take up a consultancy role. Erin Thompson, head of visual, left at the end of last month to become artistic director of Coach.  

There have also been two departures from the food division, with buying managers Tania McMullen and Andy Kavanagh handing in their notices.

A spokeswoman for Selfridges confirmed the departures, stressing that as they were spread across the business no one particular division would be affected. It was “not uncommon post-bonus” to see this number of people leave, she added, highlighting the average length of time each person had spent at Selfridges was five-and-a-half years.

The spokeswoman was unable to comment on whether each person would be replaced or whether further restructuring would take place, saying there would be some “opportunities” for internal movement.



Readers' comments (2)

  • Sure Selfridges, it's a regular occurrence that a whole group of Directors and senior managers from different areas of business get together, wait for their bonuses and hand in their resignation at the same time!

    Truth is Selfridges whilst your one of the best stores in the world no question, the arrogance has started to pour through the walls of the place. You're obviously making poor structural decisions and senior management are obviously making a stand....... Sorry my mistake, it was all about the bonus.

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  • At Selfridges, the customer is king, the staff... well not so much. The main reason there have been so many departures is because staff are expected to deliver to unrealistic timelines, with unrealistic budgets and with insufficient resources. It's not a sustainable business model and people burn out very quickly. Even their new IT Director didn't last more than a few months. In a recent staff satisfaction survey, Selfridges HR were shocked at the dissatisfaction of staff and have employed someone to help them improve it. I for one would like to see Selfridges stay on top as the world's best department store, and for the staff experience to equal the customer experience.

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