UK department store retailer House of Fraser has named Reiss executive Simon Pickering as its new head of buying for apparel, just weeks after posting "disappointing" Christmas sales.

Pickering joins in the newly-expanded role of buying and merchandising director for apparel and accessories. He has over 25 years' experience in the retail industry and joins from Reiss where he was chief digital officer.

Previously, he held director roles leading the buying, merchandising and design functions across a range of retailers including Fat Face, Arcadia Group, Debenhams and Gap.

Pickering will join House of Fraser on 12 February and will take on buying and merchandising for apparel and accessories, across the group's House brands, own bought and concessions. He will also be responsible for product quality.

"I am extremely pleased to welcome Simon to the House of Fraser team," said Maria Hollins, executive director of product and trading. "He has a wealth of experience in the retail and digital space, which will be invaluable as we continue to transform our business at pace. Simon joins at a very exciting time for our business and we look forward to working with him."

Earlier this month, House of Fraser posted "disappointing" Christmas sales and finalised the terms of the sale of the brand names no longer used in the UK to Guangzhou Sunrise Trading Limited for a cash consideration of GBP30m (US$40.5m).

House of Fraser offloads brands amid "disappointing" Christmas