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Debenhams adds Home Retail Group veteran Terry Duddy to its board

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Debenhams today said that it had hired Terry Duddy, previously chief executive of Argos owner the Home Retail Group as a non-executive board director.

Duddy was at the Home Retail Group for 15 years, the last seven as chief executive and previously as managing director of Argos, when it was still part of GUS. During his time at Home Retail Group he oversaw Argos’ pioneering role in ecommerce and multichannel retail as it became the first to introduce Click and Collect and later Check and Reserve.

Today Debenhams chairman Nigel Northridge said he was delighted with Duddy’s appointment. He added: “He [Duddy] has had a long and distinguished career in retail and his experience and expertise will be a great addition to the board.”

Debenhams chief executive Michael Sharp said, at the time of Debenhams’ last full-year results, that multichannel was a priority for the group as it looked to sell more profitably. While the department store announced a 17.6% growth in online sales in the year to August 30, total full-year sales of £2.3bn were just 1.3% up on the previous year, and profits of £105.8m were 20.6% down.

“Developing a more convenient and competitive online fulfillment offer has been a key priority and we enter this year’s peak trading period with a much improved range of delivery options,” said Sharp, at the time. This looks like an area where Duddy’s Argos experience will be very useful.

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