Selfridges has promoted buying and merchandising director Anne Pitcher to managing director of the iconic department store chain.

Pitcher, a key figure in the luxury department store sector having previously worked at Harvey Nichols and Harrods, reports in to Paul Kelly who has moved from his role as chief executive of Selfridges to focus soley on his position as managing director of the Selfridges Group.

The Selfridges Group includes Selfridges, luxury Irish department store chain Brown Thomas and Canadian department store business Holt Renfrew.

Canadian billionaire investor and Selfridges Group chairman Galen Weston said: “Anne’s leadership experience and thorough knowledge of all aspects of our business makes her the ideal choice to take the Selfridges brand on from here in the UK.

“Paul Kelly will maintain his close relationships with Anne, the Selfridges executive team and the management teams across all stores and offices.”

A replacement for Pitcher, who has been at Selfridges six years, will be announced shortly.

Selfridges Group is a subsidiary of Weston’s Wittington Investments vehicle. In November it bought Dutch luxury department store chain de Bijenkorf for an undisclosed sum, giving the group a turnover of £2bn.