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Industry Moves

Asos has recruited a former managing director of Amazon UK to be its new chairman as it works towards its target of turning over £1bn. Brian McBride takes over on 1 November from Lord Waheed Alli, who has held the role at the online fashion retailer for 12 years.

McBride said: “Asos shares many of the attributes that have made Amazon a global retailing powerhouse and I’m delighted to join the team at such an exciting time. I believe the company has the platform, proposition and ambition to deliver its vision of becoming the fashion destination for twenty-somethings, globally.”

Meanwhile, department store chain Debenhams has appointed Peter Fitzgerald, Country Sales Manager at Google in the UK and Eire, as a Non-Executive Director.

Debenhams, which reported a 40% rise in online sales in its latest financial year says that this is confirmation that its multichannel strategy is working. News of the fast growth, ahead of a market average of 13%, came as the multichannel department store also unveiled a 2.6% rise in total sales and a 1.6% rise in group-like-for-like sales, excluding VAT, in the year to 1 September, in an end-of-year trading update.

Debenhams said that visits to were up by more than 50% in the period, a change that it said was “driven in part by extremely strong growth in mobile channels (up 27%).”

Internationally, the company now delivers online purchases to 67 countries and trades in Germany through a dedicated website.

In another move, Morrisons’ Finance Director Richard Pennycook has joined the board of The Hut Group as a Non-Executive Director to help guide it as it looks to expand globally. Pennycook has already said he plans to stand down from his current role in June 2013 to concentrate on a portfolio career.

The Hut Group launched its first website in 2004 and now has 15 home shopping brands including, and It also runs a technology services division that specialises in business-to-business software and ecommerce platform services.

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