David Walker-Smith, the man who was drafted in three years ago to realign Fenwick’s Bond Street store, has resigned as managing director.
Family-owned Fenwick was founded in Newcastle, where the company’s headquarters and the biggest store of its 11 strong estate, is based. Walker-Smith joined the flagship store in February 2013, having spent 16 years as Buying and Merchandising Director of Beauty, Menswear, Home and Technology at Selfridges.
“It has been a privilege to direct this historic store into its 125th anniversary year and to equip the business for a strong future. The time is right for me to exit stage left,” said Walker-Smith.
Mark Fenwick, the company’s chairman, described him as “an inspirational and creative force whose flair and understanding of our business has repositioned” the store.
The quiet department store retailer has not yet confirmed a replacement, and Walker-Smith did not comment on his next move.
In July 2014 Walker-Smith oversaw the £1m renovation of the shoe department, a 4,150-sq ft space on the ground floor dubbed the ‘Shoe Corner’. He also helped to redesign the floor’s beauty division, attracting renowned cosmetic brand MAC – a first for Bond Street.
“Beauty is very important for Bond Street because there is no competition, so we are the destination for beauty,” he told Business of Fashion at the time. “If you look at the way that beauty is advertised, historically it has been with a very young girl and it’s not talking to these women in their 40s and 50s.”
During Walker-Smith’s tenure Fenwick stopped its e-commerce operations entirely. The site now acts as an advertising platform for its physical outlets.