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Kurt Geiger hunting to fill two key roles

Kurt Geiger is looking to fill two pivotal positions following the departures of its head of ecommerce and head of men’s buying.

Neil Minty, who was head of ecommerce and multichannel at the premium footwear retailer since February, is understood to have already left. It is unclear whether he had another job to go to.

His departure comes just months after a revamp of Kurt Geiger’s website, Kurtgeiger.com, in August, and the launch in May of the retailer’s online discounted footwear site, Shoeaholics.com, which was conceived prior to Minty’s tenure. Shoeaholics.com was set up as a vehicle to help shift out-of-season or slow-moving lines of men’s and women’s footwear.

Also set to leave Kurt Geiger is head of men’s buying Neil Steptoe, who has been with the company for five years. He will join branded footwear etailer Zalando.

Under Steptoe, Kurt Geiger’s men’s footwear business exited 16 House of Fraser stores in 2007, which at the time accounted for 30% of the men’s business. Design collaborations were also introduced during his time at the business, including one with UK footwear manufacturer Tricker’s to create a range of brogue-style boots, which were first produced for autumn 10.

In June, US retail group Jones Group bought Kurt Geiger for £215m from its private equity backer Graphite Capital to help enhance its portfolio and gain a foothold in Europe. Jones Group already owned footwear chain Nine West, for which Kurt Geiger held the UK licensing and distribution deal. At the time of the acquisition, Jones Group said it would look to launch Kurt Geiger in the US.

Kurt Geiger, which has 63 standalone stores worldwide and 112 concessions, has opened five stores in the UK this year, including one in Covent Garden. It has also opened a further 22 concessions in department stores and continued to expand its wholesale and licensing business.

Earlier this month, it reported a 38.7% rise in EBITDA to £18.8m, up from £13.5m, for the year to January 29. Like-for-like sales rose 16%. Turnover increased 22.4% to £185m, up from £151.2m the previous year.

Kurt Geiger declined to comment.

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