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Debenhams Marketing

Debenhams restructures around three business units to be overseen by three new MDs


By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

December 20, 2017 | 3 min read

Debenhams has restructured its business around three units that puts greater emphasis on its ambitions in the beauty sector, forming part of its 'Redesigned' turnaround strategy established in April.

Debenhams restructures around three business units as it appoints two new MDs

Debenhams restructures around three business units as it appoints two new MDs

The three business units include Beauty and Beauty Services, Fashion and Home, and Food and Events.

As part of the restructure, the department store has also created three new managing director roles to oversee the three business units in a structure it hopes will encourage "more visibility and accountability for delivering the customer experience", chief executive Sergio Bucher said.

Two of the new managing director roles will be filled internally. The retailer's marketing director Richard Cristofoli will take up the new role of managing director of beauty, beauty services and marketing, while retail director Ross Clemmow will broaden his role to become managing director for retail, digital, food and events.

The last role will be filled by Steven Cook, former chief merchant of Canada’s luxury retailer, Holt Renfrew, who will join Debenhams in January 2018 as managing director of fashion and home.

Cook will lead the business unit that oversees the organisation’s buying, design and merchandising divisions for these categories. His appointment follows a global search.

The reorganisation forms part of the store's 'Debenhams Redesigned Strategy' unveiled by Bucher in April, who was brought into the business in October 2016 to turn around what analysts described as a “decade of profit erosion” within Debenhams.

A key part of this ongoing strategy is for Debenhams to "significantly grow" itself in the beauty sector, differentiate itself in the industry more, as well as making itself more appealing to mobile shoppers.

A spokesperson for Debenhams said that by organising the business into three units, the managing directors can see through initiatives in place in their area which deliver against the strategy, as well as having commercial responsibilities.

Bucher said: “Steven’s appointment comes following a comprehensive global search to find the right candidate to drive Debenhams’ product offer forward.

"Steven brings great credentials to the role and by organising under three business units, our managing directors will have more visibility and accountability for delivering the customer experience. I look forward to welcoming Steven to the business and working with him to deliver Debenhams Redesigned.”

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