LONDON, July 26 Britain's No. 2 department store
Debenhams Plc said on Saturday it had appointed Matt
Smith, formerly of Mothercare, as its Chief Financial Officer.
Smith will replace Simon Herrick, who resigned when
Debenhams issued its second profit warning in less than a year
last December after admitting its margins had been squeezed by
heavy discounts that nonetheless failed to spark a late surge in
Chartered accountant Smith has been Chief Financial Officer
of Mothercare since 2013. Before that he held several
senior finance roles within Home Retail Group including Finance
Director of Argos.
He was in charge of Mothercare's finances in a period when
it became a bid target after poor Christmas trading figures
prompted a profit warning.
"We look forward to Matt joining Debenhams and to the
benefits that his extensive experience of international and
multi-channel retailing will bring to our business," Debenhams
Chief Executive Michael Sharp said in a statement.
Debenhams trades out of 243 stores in 28 countries and sells
online in 67 countries.
But it has failed to keep pace with John Lewis, Britain's
biggest department store group, which has outperformed
competitors in recent years helped by a strong web presence,
attractive stores and more affluent customer base focused in
(Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)