New Look raids Argos for new digital director

Fashion retailer New Look has poached head of eCommerce at Argos, Chris Corbin, to lead its digital department.

Corbin, who has been at Argos since 2011, and who was promoted from his position as head of digital trading in 2018 – will oversee the eCommerce and digital teams at New Look in a newly created digital director role. He is set to start at New Look on 23 March.

New Look currently operates with a head of eCommerce trdaing, and a head of digital.

It has been a period of significant change at New Look over the last couple of years, with the retailer using a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) process to reduce the size of its estate by more than 85 stores, resulting in hundreds of job losses. A debt restructuring process, last year, reduced debt by £1 billion, and the company is now on a much firmer financial footing.

In January, the business announced the departure of chief product officer, Roger Wightman, who had been with the organisation for 30 years. He was replaced by Helen Connolly, the former CEO of Bonmarche, who arrived as chief commercial officer.

That came after Nigel Oddy was promoted from COO to CEO, and Clare Dobbie was appointed chief customer officer. At the end of 2019, Emma Hayward was appointed as transformation director, and David Wertheim assumed the role of central merchandising and supply chain director, as part of a swathe of senior team appointments.

Last month, New Look revealed revenue for the 39 weeks to 28 December 2019, which included the crucial Christmas period, was down £100 million year-on-year to £830.1 million. UK and Ireland like-for-like sales were down by 7.1%, which the retailer attributed to consumer uncertainty and seasonal volatility.

Statutory loss before tax for the period was £1.2 million, compared to a loss of £63.2 million one year before, reflecting the new financial structure following the CVA.

Oddy said in February: “This time last year the company lacked the financial stability needed to operate effectively and invest in the business.

“Now, with our strengthened liquidity position, we are able to make significant appointments to our leadership team and investments in our stores and omnichannel capabilities, which I am confident will increasingly bear fruit as we look ahead.”

He added: “Investing in our leadership and people will be the single biggest enabler to transforming our business."

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