Debenhams has confirmed the appointment of former House of Fraser executive Mark Gifford as its new chair.

Gifford will take the role of chair and director of Debenhams’ parent company Celine Jersey Topco Limited and will be responsible for helping to turn the struggling department store around.

Stefaan Vansteenkiste, Debenhams’ chief executive, said: “We are delighted that Mark will be joining the parent board to work with our investor consortium, who have confirmed their continuing commitment through providing additional liquidity for our peak trading.

“Mark’s expertise and understanding of business change, as well as the retail industry, will be invaluable. I look forward to working with him as we deliver the turnaround of the group.”

Gifford said: “Debenhams is strongly backed by a supportive investor group with substantial resources and has an experienced management team with a clear plan to deliver a turnaround. I am excited about the opportunity to play a part in building a successful future for one of the UK’s best-known retail businesses.

“We are assembling a strong group of board members and I am looking forward to working with the team as we implement the necessary changes to deliver a sustainable and profitable future.”

Previously Gifford spent 10 years at rival department store House of Fraser and was chief financial officer at Game