PARIS — Galeries Lafayette has confirmed another wide-ranging management shuffle as Nicolas Houzé starts to implement his transformation of the French retailer’s department store division.
Houzé, who replaced Paul Delaoutre as chief executive officer of the department last year, has made eight new appointments to its executive committee.
His brother Guillaume Houzé, director of patronage and image at Galeries Lafayette, has been promoted to director of image and communications of the department store branch. Agnès Vigneron, director of the Galeries Lafayette flagship on Boulevard Haussman, also gains a seat on the executive committee.
Averyl Oates, who joined Galeries Lafayette last year as fashion director, is another nominee.
Jean-Philippe Marazzani, formerly at electronics retailer Darty, has been made head of the client and omnichannel department.
Olivier Bron joins the company from consultancy Bain and will be in charge of the Galeries Lafayette regional stores, the BHV Marais, international markets and strategic planning.
Frédérique Chemaly, previously at cosmetics brand L’Occitane, has been named head of human resources.
The committee will also include internal promotions: Guillaume Pats has been made director of specialized concepts, and Elisabeth Cazorla director of own brands.
Philippe Pedone, director of finance and administration, and Marc Riard, director of transformation, keep their seats on the executive committee.
Houzé, who represents the fifth generation of the founding family, is the son of Groupe Galeries Lafayette ceo Philippe Houzé and has been involved in the family business since 1998.
The French group is increasing its development abroad, with the opening of a unit in Beijing last October and further planned openings in Istanbul and Doha, Qatar, in 2015. However, it has dropped talks to acquire Britain’s House of Fraser chain of department stores, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Galeries Lafayette is busy on the domestic front, with plans to boost e-commerce, an ongoing renovation of its flagship on Boulevard Haussmann and plans to revamp its regional branches.
“The idea is to have a team that is more client-oriented, and capable of handling these big strategic challenges,” said the source.
The retailer has been on the acquisitions trail since the sale in 2012 of its 50 percent stake in retail chain Monoprix, which left it with a cash pile estimated at 1.2 billion euros, or $1.6 billion. It is also in the process of selling its 50 percent stake in consumer credit company LaSer Cofinoga.
Late last year, a bid by Groupe Galeries Lafayette to acquire rival Printemps was rejected in favor of a buyout by Qatari-backed investment fund Divine Investments SA, or Disa.
Groupe Galeries Lafayette has also stated ambitions to acquire mid- to high-end brands in ready-to-wear and accessories. The retailer already controls the Royal Quartz and Louis Pion watch chains and French fine jewelry chain Didier Guérin, in addition to its department stores, Galeries Lafayette and BHV.