House of Fraser has named David Walker-Smith as its chief product and trading officer, replacing Maria Hollins who is to leave the business to pursue new opportunities.
Due to join the UK department store retailer next month, Walker-Smith has previously served as managing director at Fenwicks, and executive buying and merchandising director (beauty, menswear and home) at Selfridges. More recently, he has been advising some of the biggest luxury retailers in the world as a brand consultant.
He will work closely with the team to optimise commercial opportunities and brand partnerships as well as further develop house brands – and will report directly to Alex Williamson, House of Fraser CEO.
“David has had a stellar retail, buying and merchandising career to date,” says Williamson. “Our ability to attract an individual of David’s calibre is a real testament to our ambitions for growth in the UK. David’s appointment adds additional strength to our leadership team and he will play an instrumental role in delivering key elements of the Transformation Programme.”
Walker-Smith’s appointment is the latest in a series of changes in the House of Fraser leadership team, including naming Reiss executive Simon Pickering as its new head of buying for apparel last month.
Meanwhile, the business confirmed to just-style in early February that a leading credit insurer has decided to stop offering cover to some of its suppliers. The decision is understood to have been taken over a month ago. The insurer covers around 20 of House of Fraser’s 650 suppliers.