House of Fraser hires marketing lead to boost premium positioning

House of Fraser has drafted in former Wickes and Shop Direct marketer Tony Holdway to lead marketing strategy in the newly created brand director role.

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The department store wants Holdway to reinforce its premium positioning by developing own-label brands including Label Lab and Shabby Chic. He will also have oversight of PR and in-store marketing.

It is also hoping to accelerate development of multi-channel initiatives such as the buy and collect “virtual department stores”, collection hubs for online orders, setup in Aberdeen and Liverpool in2011.

In-house brands and online sales were cited as drivers of a 6.3 per cent increase in sales from of its 60 plus stores over Christmas. It is thought the chain could be the subject of a bid by Middle Eastern investors this year and is said have attracted the interest of Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley and John Lewis in the last 12 months.

Holdway’s most recent role was brand director at DIY chain Wickes. He has also had senior marketing positions at Shop Direct and Mothercare.

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