LONDON — There are more changes afoot at Selfridges, which was sold to Central Group and Signa Holding in a deal that closed in August.
WWD has learned that Sebastian Manes is leaving his role as buying and merchandising director for women’s, kids, accessories, beauty, food and restaurants.
During his tenure Manes was instrumental in shaping Selfridges’ fashion buy and merchandising. He helped to fill the Corner Shop with innovative brand collaborations and found ways to fuse traditional retail with shopping in the metaverse.
He will leave the store at the end of the year and his role will be filled by Andrew Keith, managing director of Selfridges & Co., until a successor is found.
Separately, Laura Weir will join Selfridges as creative director in January.
Weir has worked for a number British newspapers and magazines including Sunday Times Style and British Vogue. She was most recently editor of ES Magazine, the lifestyle supplement of the Evening Standard newspaper.
She went freelance in October 2021 and was succeeded by Ben Cobb at ES. Weir is also the author of the book “Cosy: The British Art of Comfort.”
The creative director role had been filled temporarily by Linda Hewson, group creative director at Selfridges.
The changes follow the completion of the Weston family’s sale of Selfridges to Central and Signa, and come in the wake of Anne Pitcher’s resignation.
Pitcher is managing director of Selfridges Group, and in August confirmed her plans to step down.
The Selfridges Group is currently led by Stefano Della Valle, chief executive officer of Central and Signa’s luxury department store group in Europe, in a new expanded role.
Central and Signa agreed to purchase Selfridges Group late last year for an undisclosed price, thought to have been in the region of 4 billion pounds.
The deal included the Selfridges Group’s portfolio — which is made up of 18 department stores, including Selfridges in London, Manchester and Birmingham, England; de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands; Brown Thomas and Arnotts in Ireland, and their associated e-commerce platforms and retail properties.
As reported, Selfridges is set to benefit from Central and Signa’s planned 1 billion euros investment in its various retail properties across Europe.
The partners said their plan is to make key tweaks to the business, but not the overall strategy, operations or personality of the store that’s become synonymous with British luxury, creativity and green values.