Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fenwick’s Bond Street boss steps down

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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.