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Coast and Hobbs make ecommerce appointments

Womenswear retailers Coast and Hobbs have hired new heads of ecommerce as part of a drive to strengthen their online presence and international growth.

Coast has hired Jayne O’Keeffe for the newly created role of marketing and ecommerce director. She joins from Marks & Spencer, where she was working as head of womenswear brands.

O’Keeffe, who joins the business on October 29, will be overseeing a revamp of the retailer’s website over the next six to 12 months Coast managing director Margaret McDonald said the creation of the role was a reflection of changing consumer attitudes towards online transactions, as well as paving the way for global growth via Aurora’s international platform Andotherbrands.com.

She told Drapers: “We have done a lot of customer insight work and we know that our customer really likes to research her purchase before buying anything. At the moment our website isn’t necessarily set up in a way that helps our customer to carry out that research, so we need to adapt it to reflect that.”

O’Keeffe will also assume overall responsibility for all points of communication with Coast’s customers including all social media activity, visual merchandising, PR and marketing.

Separately, womenswear chain Hobbs has hired Gracia Amico as its new head of commerce.

Amico, formerly head of ecommerce at Topman, takes up her position at Hobbs towards the end of the year and reports into marketing and ecommerce director Claire Dobbie.

Dobbie said Amico’s international experience – having launched and managed Topman’s website in France, Germany and the US – was key to her appointment.

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