Fenwick boosts board with Alastair Kerr and Christine Cross

Kasmira Jefford
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Tesco veteran and Monsoon adviser Christine Cross
Fenwick, the family-owned department store chain, has bolstered its board by hiring two retail heavyweights, Alastair Kerr and Christine Cross, as non-executive directors.

Cross spent the biggest part of her career at Tesco, where she held a string of senior non-food retailing roles between 1989 and 2003 under Lord MacLaurin and Sir Terry Leahy.

She was a non–executive director of Next from 2005 until this year, acts as an adviser for retailer Monsoon, and also worked for accountancy firm PWC as their chief retail adviser between 2010 and 2013.

Kerr also has a wealth of retail experience, having held senior management roles at Mothercare, Kwik-Fit and The Body Shop.

He is currently a senior independent director at Alliance Trust and also sits on the board of pub group Fuller, Smith & Turner. Kerr stepped down earlier this year as a non-executive lifestyle clothing group White Stuff.

Fenwick chairman Mark Fenwick, said: “We are delighted to welcome Christine and Alastair to the board. They both bring significant and wide experience which we believe will be of real benefit to the business.”

Fenwick, which has 11 stores including one on Bond Street in London, was founded in 1882 by John James Fenwick. It is chaired by the founder’s great-grandson Mark while his cousin Adam is group managing director.

The low-profile retailer made pre-tax profits of £36.2m in the year to January 2013, up from £35.7m in 2012, on sales of £424.7m. It is due to publish its most recent results within weeks.

Fenwick is unusual in not yet having an online business and is working on creating a new transactional website over the next 12 months. It has recently invested millions of pounds revamping its shoe department at Bond Street.

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