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Apr 13, 2021
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New Look appoints head of tech as online ops are “growing strongly”

Published
Apr 13, 2021

There hasn’t been much in the way of news from struggling retailer New Look since securing essential financial support last November.


New Look - Photo: Sandra Halliday



But the retailer has announced a new appointment, and it’s big one. It’s hired Ed Alford to the newly created role of chief technology officer, effective immediately, to head its online business that has “grown strongly” over the last year.

According to New Look it represents “a significant step forward in the company’s ongoing investment in its omnichannel strategy to capitalise on the respective strengths of its conveniently located store portfolio and online business".

Alford is a senior executive with over 20 years' international business experience in technology, we’re told.

He joins from oil giant BP where he last held the position of VP and CIO Digital Transformation. During his time there, “Ed was instrumental in transforming the culture and operating model of BP's IT function into a modern, best-in-class technology organisation”.

Officially, Alford has been hired “to drive New Look’s omnichannel strategy forward” with responsibility for technology investment, engineering and IT functions.

CEO Nigel Oddy said: “[Alford] brings a wealth of highly relevant experience and expertise, and will be a valuable addition as we continue to drive forward our omnichannel strategy. As stores begin to reopen in the UK, we look ahead with measured optimism. We will continue to invest prudently and remain resolutely focused on delivering our strategy and enhancing our position as one of the UK’s leading omnichannel womenswear retailers.”

Alford added: “Looking ahead, there is a significant opportunity to further strengthen New Look’s digital and omnichannel capabilities”.

Last September, New Look clinched the support it needed from its creditors to get its company voluntary arrangement across the finishing line with the majority voting in its favour. Without it, the company could have gone into liquidation or been bought out.

Then, in November, the retailer completed a major recapitalisation to significantly reduce long-term debt, from around £550 million to just £100 million, and support future growth.

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