Laura Lendrum, formerly of Ralph Lauren Corp., has joined Dean & DeLuca as president.


LENDRUM’S NEXT COURSE: Dean & DeLuca has named Laura Lendrum president of Dean & DeLuca markets and global retail.

In her most recent post as president at Ralph Lauren Corp., she was responsible for the group’s luxury, Polo, RRL, Denim & Supply and children’s stores. With more than 20 years of experience in the luxury, retail, wholesale and e-commerce sector, she has also worked for Gucci America and Yves Saint Laurent.

She joins the gourmand-seeking company at a time when it is broadening its reach and trying new concepts. Lendrum’s marching orders are to shape Dean & DeLuca’s brand vision and identity, overseeing strategic direction, management and execution of domestic and global retail markets. Digital will be a key piece of that strategy, including its web site, social media channels and apps. Building Dean & DeLuca’s private-label offerings — as the company did with distribution in Brown Thomas in Dublin — will be another focus. Expanding the culinary brand in other cities across the U.S. is another priority.

“Similar to luxury fashion retail, Dean & DeLuca sets the highest standard by offering its customers unique and diverse products,” Lendrum said.

Architect Ole Scheeren is fine-tuning a more interactive fast-food café where chefs will prepare orders on the spot for customers as they watch closely. Tested during Design Miami, the concept will make its debut later this year in the Graybar Building in Midtown Manhattan.

The company’s founder Giorgio DeLuca still has a stake in the firm he started in 1977. After forging into SoHo decades before designers and big-name brands followed suit, he helped create a multichannel gourmet food retailer. In 2014, DeLuca sold a large part of the company to Thai developer Pace Development Corp., which has been actively pursing new avenues of distribution. The company has operations throughout the U.S. including in Charlotte, N.C.; Kansas City, Kan., and Georgetown in Washington, D.C., as well as Saint Helena and international licenses abroad. This spring the company introduced catering in select markets for groups of up to 2,500 people and pop-ups where guests can create goodie bags with Dean & DeLuca items.

Dean & DeLuca “focuses on delivering a luxury lifestyle experience,” according to Pace Development’s chief executive officer Sorapoj Techakraisri, who added that Lendrum’s “wealth of knowledge in luxury retail will lead Dean & DeLuca in creating the ultimate luxury shopping experience both online and in our stores in the U.S. and across the world.”

London-based businessman Charles Finch is chairman of Dean & DeLuca and is also an investor. Finch will expand the food retailer to London in the near future by opening a store on the city’s Mount Street, near to The Connaught hotel and amid designer boutiques operated by the likes of Roland Mouret, Oscar de la Renta, Nicholas Kirkwood and Roksanda.

The company’s name will be in the news this weekend when PGA golfer Jordan Spieth tries to defend his title at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Tex.

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