New Look is poised to appoint a new chief creative officer to take the place of Roger Wightman, Retail Week has learned.
Former Zara Basic head of product Paula Dumont Lopez will join the board of New Look in September, taking over from Wightman, who will retain a part-time consulting role following 27 years at the retailer.
Dumont Lopez is at present head of womenswear at Esprit, which she joined in 2013.
Before that, she spent a decade in a variety of roles at Inditex.
Retail Week understands that Dumont Lopez is credited as being one of the key players in Esprit’s turnaround.
At New Look, she will be responsible for reinvigorating product.
Chief executive Anders Kristiansen has attributed New Look’s poor financial performance over the past year to its lack of trend authority and will look to Dumont Lopez to solve this critical problem.
The retailer has experienced a spate of senior departures over the past year. Menswear director Christopher Englinde and women’s footwear, accessories and beauty director Amanda Wain were the most recent.
New Look’s most recent full-year profits nosedived.
Adjusted EBITDA tumbled 31.8% to £155m in the year to March 25, while underlying operating profit plummeted 44.1% to £97.6m as like-for-like sales at its core UK business fell 6.8%.
Like-for-like sales of New Look’s own-brand products slipped 6.6%, and total sales were down 2.4% to £1.45bn.