House of Fraser buying director Maria Hollins has departed the business after just under two years in the role.

Hollins will be replaced by the former managing director of Fenwick’s Bond Street branch, David Walker-Smith.

Walker-Smith, who resigned from the family-owned department store chain in March 2016, will join the business next month.

Hollins joined House of Fraser in May 2016 following a five-year stint at Asos.

Her exit follows that of chief information officer Julian Burnett and chief operating officer Peter Gross last month.

The business is currently in the midst of a transformation plan under new chief executive Alex Williamson, who arrived from the Goodwood estate last summer.

Chief executive Alex Williamson said: I am delighted to announce the appointment of David Walker-Smith as chief product and trading officer.

”David has had a stellar retail, buying and merchandising career to date. Our ability to attract an individual of David‘s calibre is a real testament to our ambitions for growth in the UK. David’s appointment adds additional strength to our leadership team and he will play an instrumental role in delivering key elements of the transformation programme.”

House of Fraser, which was hit by a credit ratings downgrade in December, fared poorly over the golden quarter, with in-store sales shrinking 2.9% and online sales slumping 7.5% in the six weeks to December 23.

The department store chain has asked landlords for rent reductions to alleviate financial pressures and has appointed Rothschild to refinance £225m of its £390m debt, set to mature next July.