Primark hires former Zara Basic head in bid to move up the clothing retailer ranks

Lucy White
Primark Expands In Germany
Dumont Lopez will start in January (Source: Getty)

Primark has pulled in Paula Dumont Lopez, a former head of product at Zara Basic, as its new womenswear chief.

The budget high street chain, which currently lags Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Next as the UK's third largest clothing retailer, is to begin in January next year.

Read more: Next's sales return to growth with strong online performance

Dumont Lopez was most recently set to join New Look as chief creative officer from Esprit, where she was senior vice president and head of womenswear. But her appointment to the high street retailer was cancelled, after New Look chief executive Anders Kristiansen suddenly quit following a profit warning.

The appointment by Primark, which is owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), is part of an attempt by the retailer to boost its international growth.

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First reported by Sky News, it is not thought to be a signal of a shift away from the bargain offering.

ABF's share price has been on a general decline since November, when it warned that it would see adverse effects from currency exchange movements in the first half of 2018.

Dumont Lopez began her career as a fabric buyer at Inditex, the parent of clothing giant Zara, before moving up to be head of product at Zara Basic.

Read more: Primark owner Associated British Foods reports jump in revenue and profit

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