House of Fraser’s buying & designer director Maria Hollins steps down

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House of Fraser Maria Hollins

The executive director for buying and design at House of Fraser, Maria Hollins, has stepped down while David Walker-Smith has been hired for the new role of chief product and trading officer.

The changes are part of an ongoing restructure of the executive team under chief executive Alex Williamson’s turnaround strategy.

According to Drapers, Walker-Smith – who left his role as the managing director of Fenwick’s Bond Street store in March 2016 – will start with House of Fraser next month.

Meanwhile, it is not yet known where Hollins will be working next.

She has been with House of Fraser for almost two years, having moved over from Asos in May 2016.

She started at the online fashion retailer in November 2011 and her stint included roles as trading director and retail director.

House of Fraser confirmed Hollins’ resignation and that a replacement will be announced shortly.

The news comes amid challenging times for the department store chain, which recently revealed falling sales amid its Christmas trading update.

It also took steps to begin a refinance of its debt package with the appointment of Rothschild to act as an advisor.

Other changes at House of Fraser’s executive team includes Reiss’s chief digital officer Simon Pickering joining as buying and merchandising director for clothing and accessories, the promotion of retail director Gary Slattery to the newly-created executive director for retail role, and transformation director Gary Monk becoming executive director for operations.

Chief operating officer Peter Gross and chief information officer Julian Burnett have also left the retailer has part of the executive reshuffle.

Meanwhile, Williamson is slated to present his strategy in April, at the end of House of Fraser’s first fiscal quarter.

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