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House of Fraser to focus on own label

House of Fraser has drafted in womenswear veteran Stephanie Chen to drive the store’s private-label strategy following a reshuffle of the operating board.

Chen will start at House of Fraser in September, and is charged with growing the department store chain’s own-label womenswear to 40% of its offer. It is currently at 10%.

Her appointment follows the departure of House of Fraser commercial director Colin Porter and director of womenswear, accessories and beauty June Lawler.

Chen, who was previously head of womenswear at Bhs until 2006 and who was instrumental in the creation of the Designers at Debenhams range at the department store rival, will be womenswear director and will sit on the operating board.

House of Fraser chief executive John King said the decision to grow own label followed a review of the store’s brand and product offer earlier this year.

“It is about moving house brands harder and faster,” he said. “It is now about driving a point of difference.”

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