Oddy in as CEO at New Look

Fashion retailer New Look has promoted COO Nigel Oddy to CEO, effective from 1 January 2020.

Oddy, who was formerly CEO of The Range and prior to that spent ten years at House of Fraser, as CEO from 2015 to 2017 and as COO from 2010 to 2014, joined New Look in April to run operations during a time of significant change at the business.

New Look’s creditors agreed to a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in 2018, which has led to restructuring of the retailer and the removal of £1 billion in debt. However, the ongoing restructuring has resulted in the closure of 85-plus stores and the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman at New Look for the last two years, who will become non-executive chairman on the same date Oddy assumes the CEO role, backed the new boss’s ability to continue the company’s transformation.

“With the financial restructuring and customer strategy review complete, and as we focus on our retailing excellence, now is the right time for Nigel to become New Look’s CEO and for me to assume a non-executive role in my capacity as chairman,” explained McGeorge.

“New Look is a great brand with an exciting future, and I look forward to continuing to support, encourage and challenge Nigel and the wider team.”

He added: “Nigel has been running the business operationally since he joined us and in a short space of time has made significant improvements to our buying, product, supply chain and omnichannel offer. As I have said before, his experience will be a great asset as we continue our transformation, which I am confident we are well positioned to deliver.”

Recent operational highlights at New Look include a reduction of product lines – by 25% in store and 32% online – and what the company described as improved speed to market, with average lead times reduced by 12 days.

According to last month’s half-year results statement, click & collect now represents 45% of online sales at the business, while new online partnerships with eBay and Next have also been secured.

Meanwhile , on 15 October, David Wertheim started his role as central merchandising & supply chain director, as part of several senior leadership changes made over the last 12 months.

In the 26 weeks to 28 September 2019, New Look reported a statutory loss before tax of £11.2 million, compared to a £41.9 million loss one year before. Total revenue of £523.8 million was down from £601.1 million reported for its core business operations in the same period in 2018.

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