Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia has bolstered its digital team with three new senior hires, as the embattled retail group seeks to improve online sales as its physical stores continue to struggle.
Arcadia, which owns high street brands such as Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, has created a new role – group chief digital officer – as it doubles down on its bid to boost its online shopping offering.
Rafaele Petruzzo, former chief transformation officer at Nets Group, has been appointed into the new digital chief position.
Former Primark IT transformation director Karl De Bruijn recently joined Green’s retail empire as chief information officer, and Simon Pakenham-Walsh has been appointed as the new director of digital and retail technology.
Chief executive Ian Grabiner said the spate of new appointments aimed to “drive forward digital ambitions and boost sales from online channels”.
Arcadia reported an operating loss of £138m in the year ending 1 September 2018, its most recent financial filings, and a 4.5 per cent drop in turnover to £1.8bn.
The group attributed the dip to the “ongoing challenging global market conditions for retailers” and increased competition from other high street stores and online retailers in particular.
Green is currently implementing a restructuring of his retail empire, which will see 23 stores close and rents slashed at 200 branches.
Grabiner added: “Through a combination of improved customer insight and data, alongside enhanced site functionality and more efficient marketing spend, we are confident that Arcadia can create an even stronger bond between our brands and our customers, delivering uniquely personal shopping experiences.”
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