Nigel Oddy is a new entrant to Drapers Top 100 having taken the top job at House of Fraser in February this year, replacing John King who held the role for the past eight years.
Oddy knows the business well, having joined in 2007. He was previously at Marks & Spencer from 1978 to 2001 in a variety of roles, including setting up the sourcing office in Hong Kong. It is this experience he is using to spearhead HoF’s launch into China next year in Nanjing, Xuzhou and Chongqing, alongside plans to open more stores in the Middle East with franchise partner Retail Arabia.
The group’s latest results, for the year ended January 31, do not show his direct influence at the helm but he has inherited a business on the rise, with sales up from £1.2bn in 2014 to £1.3bn and a record gross profit of £460.2m.
Another priority for Oddy is the multichannel offer and in June, under his direction, the business merged its in-store and online teams at the head office in Marylebone, London. Online sales increased 32% for the last reported period to January 31 and for the first time, the web store became the most profitable in the group. All eyes will be on Oddy’s future vision and direction for the department store chain.