House of Fraser wants to place further emphasis on delivering a premium experience

House of Fraser wants to place further emphasis on delivering a premium experience

UK department store retailer House of Fraser has appointed Alex Williamson as chief executive in a move it says is designed to put further emphasis on delivering a premium experience.

Williamson will take up the role from 31 July, succeeding Nigel Oddy, who announced his intention to step down last November after less than two years in the role.

House of Fraser CEO Oddy steps down

He joins from luxury sporting estate The Goodwood Group where he was CFO from 2008 before being promoted to group managing director and later CEO. Williamson led Goodwood through a period of substantial growth and development, globalising the brand.

"Over the last two years, we have built a very strong management team, with particular expertise across the key disciplines in retail," says Frank Slevin, executive chairman of House of Fraser. "This has enabled us to make an appointment that is a clear statement of the direction we intend to take, placing the customer at the centre of our business.

"House of Fraser operates in an exciting and challenging market requiring an ability to innovate and manage an increasing pace of change. I am personally very pleased we have been able to attract someone of Williamson's calibre and leadership track record and I, along with the senior management team, look forward to welcoming him to the business later this year."

Prior to joining Goodwood, Alex acted as head of finance for TUI Travel, and has held a variety of other roles and responsibilities across the leisure and hospitality sectors.

The appointment follows the acquisition this week of London-based premium fashion brand Issa, underpinning House of Fraser's strategy to invest in improving the quality and designs of its most popular House brands.

The move is in line with the retailer's new strategic vision, announced in March, which involves a review of the group's House brand portfolio, concentrating on improving the quality and designs of a more focused portfolio.

House of Fraser buys premium fashion brand Issa