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Changes at Lane Crawford Joyce Group

Woo to take over helm at retailer.

PARIS — Lane Crawford said Tuesday its president, Jennifer Woo, would now helm the Hong Kong-based retail conglomerate, the Lane Crawford Joyce Group, effective at the end of August.

This story first appeared in the August 6, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The presidents of fashion-forward specialty chain Joyce, accessories retailer Pedder Group and The Lane Crawford Joyce Group Distribution Co. will report to Woo, who takes on the additional role of deputy chairman.

The change in command comes as Bonnie Brooks, president of Lane Crawford Joyce Group since 2003, plans to exit that post in early September to become president and chief executive officer of the Bay, the 94-unit Canadian department store whose Toronto-based parent Hudson’s Bay Co. was recently acquired by America’s NRDC Equity Partners.

Brooks, who spearheaded an expansion and upscaling drive at privately held Lane Crawford Joyce Group, will become a member of its board.

One of Asia’s most dynamic luxury players, the Lane Crawford group has tripled its business in the last five years and expanded its scope beyond Hong Kong and Macau into China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Under Brooks’ tenure, Lane Crawford was repositioned from an old-style department store into a modern fashion retailer, and a distribution company was formed to bring a range of brands to Asia, including Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Marni, Jil Sander, Etro, Jimmy Choo, Hugo Boss, Club Monaco, Juicy Couture, Anya Hindmarch and Jo Malone.

“Bonnie has spearheaded the strategy to optimize our multibrand retailing and monobrand distribution in the booming Asian retail market and has led us through a dynamic period of growth,” Woo stated. “With the foundations of the group firmly in place, I am extremely confident in, and excited about, our future.”

Hudson’s Bay Co.’s president and ceo Jeffrey Sherman said Brooks would be charged with elevating the Bay and make it a “premier department store experience with better brands and service.”

A Canadian national, Brooks has had a varied and international career, first joining Lane Crawford as senior vice president of sales, marketing and store merchandising in 1998. Her résumé also includes stints at Dickson Concepts, the Canadian fashion magazine Flare and the Canadian fashion conglomerate Dylex Ltd.

No stranger to Canadian retail, she was Holt Renfrew’s vice president and general merchandise manager from 1986 to 1991, returning to the Toronto-based specialty store in 1996 for 18 months as its senior vice president of marketing.

“I’m excited because the Bay is a wonderful company, almost 400 years old. It’s certainly got an amazing heritage,” Brooks told WWD.

Lane Crawford Joyce Group has been rocked with other personnel changes recently. In November, Joyce founder Joyce Ma, along with her husband, Walter, and daughter Adrienne, exited the fashion chain bearing her name.

Recently, Andrew Keith, vice president of merchandising at Lane Crawford, was named president of Joyce Boutique Holdings Ltd., succeeding Adrienne Ma.