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It's business as usual, says new House of Fraser boss Nigel Oddy

House of Fraser’s new chief executive Nigel Oddy has vowed there will be “no major changes” to the way the business is run, as he steps into John King’s shoes.

Oddy has replaced King, who has been at the helm for eight years, with immediate effect. He told Drapers: “I have worked closely with John for the last eight years, through the development of our multichannel offer, our new Chinese owners and building the business internationally.

“There will be no major changes and my immediate focus will be to move the business forward based on the strategy we have already set out, which means continuing to invest in multichannel, our house brands, our premium branded offer and driving our international expansion.”

HoF is set to open three stores in China during the next 18 months, after Chinese department store group Nanjing Cenbest completed a deal to acquire 89% of parent company Highland Group Holdings for £480m last September.

The store locations have been agreed but not yet disclosed, said Oddy. The first is expected to open at the beginning of next year. HoF also plans to open more stores in the Middle East with its franchise partner Retail Arabia.

In the UK, work has begun on refurbishing regional stores in Huddersfield and Lincoln, and two or three larger stores will be revamped later this year. “It is business as usual in terms of strategy,” confirmed Oddy.

One menswear supplier to HoF said: “They are committed to improving the store experience and, although I am sad to see John leave, he has left the business in a secure position for further growth.”

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