House of Fraser is scrapping the role of head of buying for womenswear only nine months after it began a restructure of its buying divisions

Womenswear buyer Julie Woodhead is understood to be likely to leave the department store chain and will not be replaced.

Her departure follows a raft of job cuts initiated in January after the£341 million takeover of the retailer by Baugur-led Highland Acquisitions in November.

Woodhead was moved across from the menswear division following the departure of classic womenswear buyer Caroline Withey in February. In the same month, contemporary buyer Sally Heath and young fashion buyer Yasmin Khan also left.

In December, under the leadership of new chief executive John King, the buying divisions were centralised, resulting in the departure of womenswear director Katherine Horsfall. She was replaced by June Lawler, who also heads beauty and accessories at the retailer. Allan Winstanley remained as menswear director.

The retailer is also believed to have appointed Bentalls head of womenswear Judy Cimdins, but her title and role at House of Fraser are unclear.

The poaching of Cimdins from upmarket department store Bentalls adds force to King’s ambitions to turn House of Fraser into a premium chain, with aspirations to rival Selfridges.

King declined to comment on the departure of Woodhead or the structure of the buying team.

He told Retail Week that all House of Fraser’s brands and concessionaires remain on board, despite reports of a supplier backlash in response to House of Fraser’s revised supplier terms. It has called for suppliers to contribute towards a£50 million marketing and rebranding programme.

Matt McCormack has started at the retailer following the departure of former men’s casual brands and childrenswear buyer Pablo Sueiras, who moved to Diesel.