Andy Harding quits House of Fraser

Andy Harding has quit his role as chief customer officer at House of Fraser after five years with the business.

Harding is stepping down from his role at the end of May and will be replaced on an interim basis by Alison Lancaster, who has worked extensively on the digital customer journey at Bravissimo, Bonmarche and McArthur Glen Group.

Essential Retail understands House of Fraser has put together a shortlist of candidates and will soon make a formal announcement on Harding's permanent replacement.

It is unknown where the well-regarded Harding will be moving on to.

Harding has been responsible for House of Fraser's customer strategy across brand, marketing, digital and multichannel sales in the UK and internationally. He joined the retailer as director of eCommerce in 2011 and after two years was promoted to executive director of multichannel.

A year ago, Harding became chief customer officer (CCO) and was partly responsible for kicking off the trend in CCO hires across retail, as the industry realised it needed to ensure digital channels were thinking "customer first". Harding developed 'Project Gold' at House of Fraser to look at how the company was structured internally and to ensure commercial revenue was driven by customers, rather than by channels.

House of Fraser has recently made a number of other appointments across the business, including Maria Hollins who will join from Asos next month into the newly created role of executive director for buying and design.

Dr Dorothy Maxwell has also recently joined the retailer into the new role of head of sustainability, while John Kane joined late last year as regional director for international.

A House of Fraser’s spokesperson said: "As we continue to grow House of Fraser in the UK and internationally, it is important to restructure our business so that it is fit for the future. Inevitably, this means staff leave along the way. However, our ability to attract such a high calibre of talent, as highlighted by our recent senior appointments, is a real testament to the strength of our business and future ambitions. The experience they are bringing to House of Fraser will be incredibly valuable to our ongoing development."