Debenhams trading director Suzanne Harlow exits amid restructure

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Debenhams trading director

Debenhams has announced the impending departure of trading director Suzanne Harlow, as the retailer continues on the path of a restructuring strategy.

Harlow has been with the department store chain since 1994, with the last eight years in the trading director role.

She will depart on October 20, and the retailer said she “intends to explore new opportunities elsewhere”.

Her role will cease to exist after she leaves, with Debenhams creating three new business units instead: fashion and home, beauty and beauty services, and food and events.

Each business unit will be led by a member of the executive committee.

The executive committee will consist of chief executive Sergio Bucher and chief financial officer Matt Smith, along with retail director Ross Clemmow, marketing director Richard Cristofoli, international director David Smith, technology and supply chain director Angela Morrison, and HR director Sally Hyndman.

A new executive committee member responsible for the fashion and home division is expected to be appointed soon, but Bucher will oversee it in the interim.

The new divisions and executive committee form part of Bucher’s “Debenhams Redesigned” strategy, which was unveiled in April and focuses on experiential shopping, digital growth and driving efficiency.

“We have strengthened the management team over the last 12 months and now have a structure in place to support our ambition to become a leader in social shopping,” Bucher said.

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