Former House of Fraser boss poised to take over at New Look

Clothing retailer New Look has appointed the former boss of House of Fraser as its new chief executive, after the role remained open for two years.

Nigel Oddy, who became New Look’s chief operating officer in April, will step into the role from the beginning of next year, allowing executive chairman Alistair McGeorge to move back from the front line.

Mr McGeorge has been in charge of of the business as executive chairman since Anders Kristiansen resigned in later 2017. He said the new appointment will allow him to step back into a non-executive role as chairman of the board.

“Nigel has been running the business operationally since he joined us and in a short space of time has made significant improvements to our buying, product, supply chain and omnichannel offer,” he said.

Mr Oddy’s appointment will not come as a surprise to followers of the company, Mr McGeorge told the Daily Telegraph as much in June this year.

“Since joining the business earlier this year, we have focused on strengthening our operational foundations.

“We have already taken decisive steps to broaden the appeal of our product, enhance the customer journey and improve our lead times,” Mr Oddy said.

The new chief executive could face a tough battle ahead as the company battles a brutal high street.

Last month Mr McGeorge said he does not expect things to improve any time soon.

But he does hope for a better second half, after a first in which it managed to slash losses from £42 million to £11 million in the six months ending September.

It follows a turnaround for the business.

“Following the successful financial restructuring, we have also been able to strengthen our leadership and begin to invest prudently in the business again.

“I look forward to continue working with Alistair and the board, and leading the wider team of 15,000 colleagues, as we continue to build on New Look’s distinctive offer and strong customer heritage,” Mr Oddy said.