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Stead & Simpson recruits retail chief to rebrand Shoe Express

Footwear retailer Stead & Simpson has drafted in David Rostron as retail director to rebrand its Shoe Express chain and review its retail and brand portfolio.

Rostron, who joined the business from his role as retail operations controller at value chain Primark, aims to improve differentiation between the four Stead & Simpson-owned fascias.

He will work with buying and merchandising director Roger Parr on a brand review across the portfolio and on the rebranding of Shoe Express to the Pose fascia (Drapers, April 28).

Shoe Express, which has 80 stores, is set to be entirely rebranded as Pose, providing a trial shop which opens in Wigan in Lancashire on July 19 is a success.

Rostron said: "We must be clear about the target customer. As part of the Shoe Express rebrand, we will take shoe boxes off the top shelf and put them in the stock room, and will turn shoes around on the profile so shoppers can see from heel to toe rather than just the front of the shoes. We will also cut down on the number of options in store, which will reduce the number of duplications."

Rostron, who has also held senior roles at Marks & Spencer, Littlewoods and Gap, joins as part of a complete overhaul of the Stead & Simpson business, led by new chief executive David White.

Rostron will be supported by new central operations manager Richard Saqladi, who joined last month. As revealed in Drapers, the business has also received an additional £8 million cash injection from HBOS.

Stead & Simpson chair-man Barry Stevenson said he was delighted that the refinancing was complete. "We can now deliver strong recovery for Stead & Simpson and tackle the opportunities we have identified in the market," he said.

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