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Exclusive: Nigel Oddy to join New Look

Former House of Fraser chief executive Nigel Oddy will join New Look as chief operating officer on 1 April, Drapers can exclusively reveal.

He will report into executive chairman Alistair McGeorge.

Oddy was most recently CEO of home and garden retailer The Range from 2017 until the end of last year.

Prior to that he spent 10 years at HoF, joining in 2007 as executive director and working his way up to chief executive, a position he held for two years.

Oddy began his career at Marks & Spencer in 1978 and spent 23 years at the retailer in a variety of roles.

McGeorge said: “His operational expertise and significant retail experience will be a great asset to the team as New Look continues to deliver on its turnaround strategy and reposition itself for future growth.”

Oddy added: “New Look is a strong brand with 50 years of heritage and a great team. I look forward to being part of the business at this exciting point in its development.”

He joins New Look in a period of transition. Earlier this year the retailer agreed a debt-for-equity swap with a group of its key financial stakeholders, which is aimed at reducing its long-term debt by 80% from £1.35bn to £350m.

New Look has also been reviewing its non-core international markets. In October, the retailer announced it was closing its 120 stores in China, and, McGeorge told Drapers it was seeking to do the same across Europe.

On Monday, New Look Poland filed for bankruptcy, and earlier this month the retailer confirmed it is seeking a buyer for the 30 stores in its French arm, which faces continued difficult trading.

It comes after New Look Belgium filed for insolvency in January.

In February, New Look reported that it had swung to a group operating profit of £38.5m for the 39 weeks to 22 December 2018, from an operating loss of £5.1m in same period in 2017.


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