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Jacques Vert axes jobs as it completes merger

Head office consolidation sees 40 staff made redundant, but group opts to retain majority of fascias.

The Jacques Vert Group has made around a quarter of staff from the former Irisa Group head office redundant as it completes a merger of the two businesses.

In total, 40 employees are being laid off. Of these, 29 are compulsory redundancies arising from a consolidation of back-office functions.

The remaining 104 staff now have to make a 31-mile move from Luton to Islington and will be in place at the refurbished head office from March 25.

The group was formed last January when private equity firm Sun European Partners merged Jacques Vert, which it acquired in December 2011, with Irisa Group, which it bought via a pre-pack administration in September 2011.

As part of the merger, Irisa’s plus-size fascia Ann Harvey has been axed, with the concessions being wound down from last autumn to this spring.

Following a strategic review the group has decided to retain the remaining fascias, which include Windsmoor, Precis, Planet, Eastex, Jacques Vert, Alexon, Minuet and Kaliko.

Irisa chief executive Jane McNally left the business in August 2012, and Jacques Vert chief executive Paul Allen resigned in October.

New chief executive Teresa Tideman took the helm of the combined business this month, joining from Disney Stores Europe, where she was senior vice-president and joint managing director.

Tideman said the Jacques Vert fascias had “great potential for further growth”.

“The team will be focused on product and channel development as we continue to build a strong platform for our business for the future,” she added.

One of her first moves has been to promote Amanda Lester to the role of group brand director.

Lester has been with the business since 2005, most recently overseeing Planet and Precis.

Tideman has also taken on Mark Aldridge as group marketing director, which is a new role within the business.

Aldridge, who has been consulting at Jacques Vert since the start of the year, is now responsible for the business’s marketing, visual merchandising and PR, and marketing ecommerce.

Previously Aldridge has worked for brands including The Open University, Disney and Diageo.

The group is also understood to be close to appointing a multichannel director and a design director within the next month.

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