May 11, 2017
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House of Fraser poaches Goodwood boss as CEO, underlines focus on experiences

May 11, 2017

House of Fraser has announced that former Goodwood chief executive Alex Williamson will be joining the business as its new CEO on 31 July 2017. Williamson will be tasked with leading the group’s new strategy, which aims to considerably improve the customer experience.

Alex Williamson will be joining House of Fraser as new CEO on 31 July 2017 - Photo: House of Fraser

Frank Slevin, executive chairman of House of Fraser, said Williamson was chosen for his “extensive expertise of delivering compelling and engaging experiences for the customer”. As head of Goodwood and former head of finance of TUI Travel, Williamson has no previous experience in fashion retail, however his ability to create experiences is in line with HoF’s new vision.

And it is also in line with consumer trends as shoppers shift from just buying product into spending their money on lesiure activities and expecting the prodcuts they do buy to come with added-value experiences.

Williamson spent over nine years at Goodwood, rising from CFO in 2008 to group managing director and later to CEO – the position he has held since 2012. During this time, he led the company through a period of substantial growth and development, building a dynamic and modern experience for both customers and employees.

House of Fraser hopes to leverage this experience to help create a more modern and customer-centric department store proposition at a time when the retailer is tweakignits strategy and rolling out to new countries.

"Over the last two years, we have built a very strong management team, with particular expertise across the key disciplines in retail. This has enabled us to make an appointment that is a clear statement of the direction we intend to take, placing the customer at the centre of our business,” said Slevin.

“House of Fraser operates in an exciting and challenging market requiring an ability to innovate and manage an increasing pace of change. I am confident Alex will be able to add his perspective and skill of running the Goodwood Estate, one of the great British heritage brands to the benefit of our continued growth.”

Prior to joining Goodwood, Alex worked as Head of Finance for TUI Travel, and has held a variety of other roles and responsibilities across the leisure and hospitality sectors. He first joined Ernst & Young in 1999.

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