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Womenswear boss exits HoF

House of Fraser's head of external brands for womenswear, Judy Cimdins, is understood to be leaving the department store chain this month.

Cimdins joined HoF from Fenwick-owned department store Bentalls in Kingston upon Thames in Surrey just over a year ago. The reason for her departure is unclear but sources said it was Cimdins decision to leave.

HoF recently kicked off a review of its womenswear range and is expected to rethink its concession mix next year to move away from some classic middle-market womenswear brands to help boost its premium fashion credentials.

The review will include the department store’s own labels and bought-in brands. HoF is also thought to be assessing sales densities within its womenswear department.

The review follows an overhaul of its store concept. It has opened upmarket shops in Westfield London, Belfast and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire this year, helping it to record a sales rise of 2.7% for the 39 weeks to October 25.

For the year to January 26 2008, HoF’s sales hit £1.03 billion – the business’s first full year of trading since its acquisition by Highland Group in November 2006. EBITDA for the period was £68.1m.

No one from HoF was available for comment.

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