Harvey Nichols is aggressively expanding ecommerce headcount as it embarks on a five-year multichannel strategy.

The department store group is adding to its team by creating roles including editors, copywriters, web and usability designers, with a lead digital designer to be appointed by the end of the summer.

The team is being run by head of ecommerce Sandrine Deveaux.

Harvey Nichols would not be drawn on details of what sort of technologies it will be using to develop its multichannel offering, but it is thought to be considering a content-rich site, mobile payments and apps.

According to marketing director Julia Bowe, about 47% of Harvey Nichols’ in-store sales start with online research. Creating content online to engage with both local and international visitors will, therefore, be vital to boosting sales, she said.

“We want to create a commercially viable ecommerce business and make sure we grow profitably,” said Bowe. “It’s a key part of being a multichannel retailer.”

Separately, the retailer is introducing classic luxury brands Chanel, Dior and Hermès in an effort to capture spend from its growing customer base from emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia, India and China.