Womenswear retailer Bonmarché has added technology expertise to its boardroom, with the appointment of Unilever's global vice president for IT, Mark McClennon.

The new recruit has become an independent non-executive director with immediate effect, and he will serve on the audit, remuneration and nomination committees. At Unilever he has been leading the IT operation on a global scale, covering marketing, eCommerce, R&D and sustainability.

Commenting on McClennon's arrival, Bonmarché chairman John Coleman said: "His experience gained over more than 20 years within Unilever will bring to the board skills and knowledge which will be especially valuable given the developing business change agenda within Bonmarché's strategy."

Changes to the boardroom come as total sales increased by 5.3% for the year ended 26 March 2016, while like-for-like trading was up by 1% including online.

Bonmarché said that trading conditions have been challenging since Christmas and the company expects that profit before tax for the year ended 26 March 2016 will be at the lower end of the guidance outlined in December. Full-year results are set to be released on 10 June.

CEO Beth Butterwick, who will be leaving her role later this year to take the helm at Karen Millen, said: "Overall, consumer confidence does not appear buoyant and, given that context, I believe that the provisional results represent a creditable performance.

"Our financial position continues to remain healthy and our final autumn/winter terminal stock position has ended better than expected, and lower than last year. Our expectation is that trading conditions will remain challenging, and therefore our outlook for the FY17 result is cautious."

Butterwick will be replaced as CEO by Helen Connolly, who is currently senior buying director for George at Asda, where she is responsible for all women's clothing, non-clothing and male and female essentials. She has previously worked in senior roles at Next and Dorothy Perkins.