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Monsoon hires Kirby to lead web growth

Womenswear and accessories group Monsoon Accessorize is to step up its online operations and launch its first overseas website following the appointment of former Fat Face director Kristine Kirby.

Kirby, who left her role as home-shopping director at the lifestyle retailer in May, this week joined Monsoon Accessorize in the newly created role of ecommerce and multichannel marketing director. Prior to Fat Face, Kirby was ecommerce and systems director at young fashion chain Lipsy.

In her new role she will spearhead the launch of a standalone UK website for accessories chain Accessorize and a series of separate overseas sites for both womenswear retailer Monsoon and Accessorize. Currently, product for both chains is sold via one UK website which sells in sterling and ships to Europe and the US.

The Accessorize site is set to launch in October. Kirby said: “We know that Monsoon and Accessorize have a separate customer and their own USPs, so we need to give Accessorize its own space to shine.”

Later this year, a separate Accessorize site will launch in the US where the retailer has begun a store roll-out. It will be the group’s first overseas online store and follows the opening of the first Accessorize store in Washington in March. Four more are planned to open this year.

Websites for individual European countries, with specific languages and currency, will also be rolled out from the first quarter of 2011, initially in France, Germany, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland, where the group already has stores.

“From now on we will follow the pattern of separate Monsoon and Accessorize websites for each territory,” said Kirby.

Monsoon’s existing UK website will be relaunched early next year with higher-quality imagery and editorial on its ethical sourcing.

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