Debenhams taps Steven Cook for new fashion and home unit
Debenhams has finally announced who will be leading its new fashion and home unit. Steven Cook, who was previously chief merchant of Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew, has been chosen for the job.
The appointment comes three months after the departure of long-time trading director Suzanne Harlow. In September, Debenhams announced her role will no longer exist and created instead three new business units: fashion and home, beauty and beauty services, and food and events.
Steven Cook will join the British retailer in early January and will have responsibility for the company’s buying, design and merchandising teams for fashion and home. He will serve as managing director alongside Richard Cristofoli, who has been named as managing director of beauty, beauty services and marketing; and Ross Clemmow, who heads the food and events division.
CEO Sergio Bucher said: “Steven’s appointment comes following a comprehensive global search to find the right candidate to drive Debenhams’ product offer forward. Steven brings great credentials to the role and by organising under three business units, our Managing Directors will have more visibility and accountability for delivering the customer experience.”
Cook’s CV includes positions as several US and Canadian fashion brands, including Sears Canada, Calvin Klein, Badgley Mischka Polo Ralph Lauren, J. Crew and Nike. His last role was at Holt Renfrew, a chain of high-end Canadian department stores controlled by Selfridges Group.
He said: “I am hugely excited to become part of the Debenhams team at this time of transformation. I look forward to leading the team in delivering both product development and a retailing experience which drives the Debenhams Redesigned strategy.”
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