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House of Fraser multichannel director to join Wool Overs

House of Fraser global multichannel director Martin Francis is leaving to join etailer and mail order knitwear specialist Wool Overs in mid March.

Martin Francis

Martin Francis

Martin Francis

Francis became a director at House of Fraser in July 2013 and was previously head of ecommerce at Arcadia’s Dorothy Perkins for three years to January 2013.

West Sussex-based Wool Overs, which trades as, was founded by Mark and Clare Shenton in 1989, who began selling knitwear at country shows.

It now offers more than 150 styles of jumpers, sweaters and cardigans, with a turnover of £20.1m for the year ended March 31 2014. It made an operating profit of £3.5m, against £1.8m for the previous year.

The business appointed former Moss Bros omnichannel director Neil Sansom as chief executive in September last year.

Francis told Drapers: “I am very excited about the new challenge and joining Neil’s team.”

Private equity firm Langholm Capital acquired a majority stake in Wool Overs in July this year. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the founders have retained a minority stake.

“Martin has a wealth of experience in multichannel, commerce and customer facing retail business and will strengthen the new management team at Wool Overs which now includes Sean Watherston as CFO and Richard Harris as buying director,” said Sansom.

Watherston joined the firm in January from outlet sale site BrandAlley, where he was chief financial officer from October 2013 to January 2016, while Harris, who joined at the same time, was previously fashion director at Mamas & Papas from April 2012 to July 2015 and director of buying at Boden from 2009 to 2011.


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