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Womenswear brand Viz-a-Viz appoints head of retail

Mainstream womenswear brand Viz-a-Viz has appointed former BHS store director Jason McShane-Chapman to the newly created role of head of retail.

McShane-Chapman, who left the ailing department store chain in January after just seven months, will join Viz-a-Viz on April 20, reporting to Rinku Loomba, chief executive of its parent company Rinku Group.

Before BHS, McShane-Chapman worked at Debenhams for almost nine years, joining the HR department in March 2005. In May 2008 he left to become HR adviser at House of Fraser, but he rejoined Debenhams the following November as regional store manager, a position he held until leaving to join BHS in July 2014.

In his new role he will lead Viz-a-Viz’s retail team, tasked with increasing the profile and turnover of the brand within its existing ‘PartnerShops’, as well as expanding the portfolio.

Viz-a-Viz launched its PartnerShop concept in January 2014. Through it, the brand supplies independent retailers with 10 fully co-ordinated Viz-a-Viz capsule collections over a 12-month period. 

The deliveries are phased into five drops per season, which retailers pay for as they sell, with any unsold stock then returned. Independent retailers commit to a year’s contract, with an opt-out clause after six months.

Viz-a-Viz now has 210 PartnerShops, including department stores House of Fraser, Bentalls and Beales and independents such as womenswear boutique The Copper Tree in Usk, Monmouthshire.

Loomba said: “Having been pleased with the results so far [following the PartnerShop launch], we believe there is a significant opportunity for the brand to reach a wider audience through stronger retail partnerships. Jason’s appointment reflects this objective.”

Read our interview with Loomba.



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