• Andy Harding exits House of Fraser after five years 
  • Former Bonmarché exec Alison Lancaster to take role in the interim
  • Shortlist of three for permanent replacement 

House of Fraser chief customer officer Andy Harding has quit the business after five years, with Alison Lancaster replacing him in the interim.  

The highly rated Harding will leave House of Fraser at the end of next month, but it is not clear whether he has another role to go to. 

Harding’s departure was announced to staff on Friday, Retail Week understands.  

His replacement has not yet been named, although there is believed to be a shortlist of three candidates.

Harding is well regarded in the industry and was ranked in the latest Retail Week Power List at 81.

His departure is the latest in a number of exits at the Sanpower Group-owned department store chain. Earlier this month head of home, food, and beauty, Ysanne Jenkins left the group.

Since the beginning of the year, director of global multichannel trading Martin Francis and clothing and accessories boss Jackie Hay have left.

However, House of Fraser made a string of new appointments, including former Asos executive Maria Hollins.

Harding’s interim replacement, Lancaster, has also held interim roles at a number of retailers including Bonmarché, Bravissimo and McArthurGlen Group.

A House of Fraser spokeswoman said: “As we continue to grow House of Fraser in the UK and internationally, it is important to restructure our business so that it is fit for the future. Inevitably, this means staff leave along the way.

“However, our ability to attract such a high calibre of talent, as highlighted by our recent senior appointments, is real testament to the strength of our business and future ambitions.

“The experience they are bringing to House of Fraser will be incredibly valuable to our ongoing development.”

Last week House of Fraser reported its first pre-tax profit since 2006.