By  on July 17, 2009

PARIS — Redcats, the home-shopping unit of French retail-to-luxury group PPR, has reshuffled the top management of fashion and home furnishings catalogue La Redoute in a bid to improve its competitiveness.

Nathalie Balla has been named managing director of La Redoute, effective Aug. 31, and Redcats’ chief executive officer, Jean-Michel Noir, will become chairman of the unit.

Balla and Noir will replace Nicolas Bernard, who is leaving the helm of La Redoute because of “diverging views” with management, Redcats said.Bernard, a Redcats veteran since 1982, had been ceo of La Redoute since May 2008.

Balla, 41, joins from Robert Klingel Europe, Germany’s fourth-largest home shopping company, where she had been managing director since 2005. She previously held management positions at German retailer Karstadt Quelle.

Like most retailers, La Redoute has suffered as consumers have reduced their discretionary spending during the recession. In the first quarter of 2009, sales dropped 14 percent in France and 6 percent in international markets.

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