House of Fraser brand director Matt Chambers has been made redundant as part of a restructure of the department store’s support functions.
Chambers, whose departure was announced in an email to staff from chief executive John King on Tuesday, is the highest-profile casualty of the changes. He leaves the business on Monday, and his role will not be replaced.
A spokeswoman for House of Fraser confirmed that the company was restructuring some head office functions, saying: “As part of our ongoing strategy to continually improve efficiency, we have announced some changes in our organisation structures and a proposed reduction in the number of roles in our support functions.”
She declined to comment any further.
Sources claimed that about 20 people were affected by the changes, but it is understood that the exact number will be less, depending on the outcome of a consultation period, which may lead to some staff being redeployed. Those affected are in support functions such as marketing and finance.
Chambers, who declined to comment, joined House of Fraser four years ago following the takeover of the business by the Highland Acquisitions vehicle, led by Baugur and Don McCarthy in 2006. He joined from shopping centre owner The Mall, where he was marketing director, and had previously held marketing roles at Marks & Spencer, the Evening Standard and Charlton Athletic Football Club.
At House of Fraser, Chambers played a key role in the company’s successful strategy of becoming a premium ‘house of brands’ and moving away from its traditionally stuffy image. More latterly, he was involved with the relaunch of iconic 1960s brand Biba at House of Fraser, and most recently was understood to be heading an internal project called “vision and values”.
According to the internal announcement, Chambers’ direct responsibilities have been split between King himself and fellow director Nigel Oddy.