Aurora Fashions has appointed former Asos marketing chief Hash Ladha to the newly created role of group multichannel director.
The appointment marks the start of an aggressive integrated multichannel push by the group, which operates the chains Karen Millen, Coast, Warehouse and Oasis.
Ladha, who starts at Aurora on June 1, was previously marketing and operations director at Asos from 2007 to November last year. Prior to that he held various marketing and business development roles, including marketing director at value chain New Look.
Aurora chief executive Mike Shearwood said the business had doubled its ecommerce sales over the past two years and that the division would command about 10% of UK sales - understood to be more than £55m - in the current year to the end of January 2011.
The group is also seeking to grow UK market share in the current year and to expand into new markets via stores and online. It will open its first off-shore website for Karen Millen in the US this year and open a local fulfilment hub in New Jersey to service the site. It already has 18 shops and concessions in the US.
Aurora will also reskin the websites for all its chains worldwide into local languages this year.
Aurora is to introduce an integrated stock management system and data depository, allowing shoppers to buy from the group’s entire inventory of product “wherever and whenever” they want, according to Shearwood. This will include click and collect, in-store delivery and collection and online ordering in stores.
Aurora trades from 1,471 stores and concessions in 45 countries and delivers to 27 markets via its online operations. By the end of this year, the group plans to trade from 1,635 stores and concessions.
Aurora-owned fashion brand Oasis has signed deals for three new stores, including one in Peterborough’s Queensgate Shopping Centre, as well as a pre-let in the Trinity Leeds development.
The third deal is a relocation of its store in Sheffield’s Meadowhall. Harper Dennis Hobbs acted for the retailer, while Queensgate Partnership was advised by Lunson Mitchenall. Smith Young Partnership advised Meadowhall landlord British Land and Cushman & Wakefield advised Trinity Leeds landlord Land Securities.