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Green appoints retail director for Bhs

Bhs has appointed a Marks & Spencer area manager as its new retail director.

Darren Topp, M&S's area manager for Wales and the West division, will start at Bhs in the autumn. Topp has been at Marks & Spencer for 22 years.

He will replace Tony Brown, who resigned in October to become chief executive of department store business Beales. Brown has been retail director at Bhs since 2001. He replaces Allan Allkins at Beales who retires this month.

This is a key appointment for Bhs owner Green who has pledged to spend £100 million refurbishing the 185-store chain. Green was last year reported to be looking for someone to take on a chief executive role at the business.

In October last year, Bhs reported a 3% rise operating profits to £50 million for the year to March 31. Sales rose 1.4% to £872.5m. A fall in interest charges lifted pre-tax profits from £42.3m to £49.4m.

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