New Look has made a U-turn on its decision to draft in a new chief creative officer after scrapping the last major hire made by former boss Anders Kristiansen.

Kristiansen, who abruptly exited the company at the end of last month, had appointed former Inditex director and Esprit womenswear head Paula Dumont Lopez as chief creative officer.

She was due to arrive this month as a replacement for the long-serving Roger Wightman.

But New Look has revealed that the move has now been scrapped and Wightman will continue in his current role.

New Look did not specify whether the appointment was permanent or interim.

In a statement, the value-focused retailer said: “As the company reviews its buying, merchandising and design priorities, it has decided that Paula Dumont Lopez will no longer join the company.

“To ensure continuity, Roger Wightman will continue in his current role as chief creative officer.”

Last month, New Look reported a 7.5% fall in UK like-for-like sales in the quarter to June 24, with underlying operating profit declining sharply to just over £12m.

Kristiansen exited New Look at the start of this month, just over two years after the chief executive’s turnaround of the retailer paved the way for its £2bn sale to South African investor Brait.

Kristiansen will be replaced on an interim basis by New Look UK and Ireland managing director Danny Barrasso while the board hunts for a permanent successor.

Kristiansen’s hire of Dumont Lopez signalled a shift in New Look’s strategy. Kristiansen attributed the retailer’s poor financial performance to a lack of trend authority and had intended to look to Dumont Lopez to solve this critical problem.

This abrupt u-turn could well mean that New Look is backtracking on Kristiansen’s strategy and returning to the value-led ideals of founder Tom Singh as the fashion market flounders.