Blacks is understood to have poached Julia Reynolds, chief executive of online lingerie retailer Figleaves, to fill its top job.

Reynolds will be named as new chief executive of the outdoor specialist this week according to Sky News, replacing Neil Gillis who stood down in February.

She has been at Figleaves, now owned by N Brown, since 2008. Prior to that, she was buying and merchandising director for Tesco clothing Europe, where she had a hand in creating the Florence & Fred clothing range.

Gillis had no experience of retailing when he joined Blacks in 2007 to spearhead the troubled retailer’s turnaround.Since then, Blacks has exited its loss-making Sandcity business, reduced overheads by £9m and implemented a CVA closing 89 loss-making stores.

Blacks has had a tumultuous 2010. Prior to Gillis quitting, the retailer ended discussions with potential bidders, thought to include private equity firms Lion Capital and LDC, to buy the chain.

No comment was available from Blacks.