Troubled Bonmarché shops at Asda for new chief executive

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Over-fifties fashion chain Bonmarché has poached Asda’s top womenswear buyer Helen Connolly to be its new chief executive.

Connolly, who will take up the position later this year, replaces Beth Butterwick, whose departure was revealed in December alongside a profit warning blamed on lacklustre spending triggered by unseasonably warm weather.

Butterwick is taking the top job at rival Karen Millen after four years with Bonmarché.

At Asda, Connolly ran all women’s clothing, homewares and male and female essentials under its George brand. She has been charged with increasing the speed at which Asda gets designs on to shop floors.

Working with suppliers in Turkey, Connolly, who previously held roles at Next and Arcadia’s Dorothy Perkins, helped get some ranges to stores within six weeks instead of the usual eight to 12.

Bonmarché chairman John Coleman said: “Helen’s expertise in buying, merchandising, sourcing, product, and business development is first-class, and she has demonstrated a dedicated focus on delivering a high quality consumer experience.”

Shares in the retailer rose 3p to 183p.

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March 31, 2016 |
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