Hamleys, the toy retailer, has hired former Sears marketer Stella Hartley as acting head of marketing.
Hartley is understood to have recently joined the company as an independent consultant to help with its marketing strategy. It is not clear whether the position will be made permanent.
The marketing director role has been vacant since Adrian Woolford left in March 2004. Woolford was part of a management buy-out of the chain, which was backed by Icelandic retail investment group Baugur, but he left after the new owners split the head office teams and axed his role.
Hartley has been working as a marketing consultant recently and has held a variety of retail marketing roles including interim marketing director at Adams Kids. She was also sales and marketing director at womenswear brand Richards, which is owned by Sears.
Hamleys is currently examining its brand to assess how to extend its reach beyond its flagship store in London. It has appointed Digby & Co to handle its marketing communications business (MW last week).
One of the agency’s first tasks is to create marketing materials to back the store’s major summer promotion “Pirates at Hamleys”, including press ads and in-store work. Digby & Co is also set to develop Halloween and Christmas campaigns for the retailer.