Debenhams Acting Chairman better suited to Moss Bros?

Acting Debenhams chairman Terry Duddy has reportedly been shortlisted to replace Moss Bros chair Debbie Hewitt when she steps down later this year.

According to Sky News, Duddy is being sounded out for Hewitt’s role a Moss Bros, which recently warned over profits after sluggish sales from stock shortages, low footfall and suit hire demand.

Duddy was only appointed interim chairman of Debenhams earlier this month in the wake of Sir Ian Cheshire’s resignation after an investor coup, led by the department store’s biggest shareholder Sports Direct, ousted him from the board during an AGM vote.

Duddy, who once led Home Retail Group – the former parent company of Argos, Habitat and Homebase – is also slated to step down from the board of shopping centre giant Hammerson given his new responsibilities at Debenhams.

Sky News said Duddy’s remit at acting chairmain of the embattled department store is likely to include attempts to secure a refinancing of Debenhams’ borrowings in order to preserve its future.

Moss Bros recently posted a one per cent dip in half-year like-for-like sales due to deeper discounting and weaker footfall but insisted its performance was on “an improving trend” as total sales edged up 0.6 per cent.

However, the retailer experienced lacklustre in-store sales, resulting in a marginal 0.1 per cent increase in retail like-for-likes and 1.9 per cent year-on-year growth in total sales.

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