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Olsen staffs up for refit and online push

Mainstream womenswear brand Olsen is to revamp its concessions and expand online following two senior hires.

Olsen appointed Josef O’Sullivan to the new role of trading director in May, hiring him from menswear retailer Crombie, where he was head of retail.

O’Sullivan will oversee Olsen’s retail arm, which aims to grow online sales. It soft launched a transactional website in the UK last week at, and next week is due to add Olsen to the website of its concession partner House of Fraser.

Jessica Perry has also been appointed to the new role of marketing director in June. She was previously head of marketing at shirt retailer Charles Tyrwhitt.

O’Sullivan and Perry together will oversee the roll-out of a new concession refit this autumn. The cleaner, more contemporary look has been designed to reflect the younger handwriting of the brand and will be fitted in its House of Fraser concessions in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Guildford in late September in time for autumn 10 deliveries.

Olsen is also planning to work more closely with its 450 UK wholesale partners to develop shop-in-shops and branded shop fixtures.

The new shopfits and fixtures are based on designs from Olsen’s head office in Germany, where the brand has standalone stores. The UK team has translated the design for the smaller concession and wholesale spaces in the UK.

“It is a clean, modern concept and a great backdrop to showcase colour,” said UK managing director Louise Sutton. “We’ve created options such as branded mobile units for indies who want to move them around to remerchandise.”

Olsen will roll the refit out further for spring 11 but has yet to decide how many of its 31 concessions to refit.

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