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Bench owner hires ecommerce head

Americana International, owner of young fashion brand Bench, has appointed its first head of ecommerce in a bid to drive online sales.

Nik Burton has joined from Thomas Cook-owned travel company Gold Medal Travel, where he held the same role. He took up the role at Americana this month and will oversee development of online operations at Bench.

Americana plans to launch multilingual sites targeting mainland European markets on an undisclosed date and to integrate online video and social media into the Bench site.

Peter McGuigan, chief executive of Americana, said: “We want to drive more traffic through the site and for it to be in line with [other] retailers online.”

He said Americana was targeting a fourfold increase in online sales in the next three years but would not reveal the current level.

According to the latest accounts filed at Companies House, Americana posted pre-tax profits of £17.2m for the year to June 27, 2009, down 4% on the previous year.

Turnover was up 30% to £109m.

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