Harvey Nichols names Manju Malhotra for top job

As CEO Malhotra is charged with leading the retailer through the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring an upwards sales trajectory

Harvey Nichols has kicked off the new year with the appointment of a new leader.

Formerly the retailer’s COO, Manju Malhotra takes up the reins as CEO of the world renowned department store chain with immediate effect.

Her primary task as boss will be to navigate the retailer through the coronavirus pandemic, which she has done throughout 2020, following the departure of Daniela Rinaldi in November 2019.

As well as guiding Harvey Nichols through one of the most threatening periods to the retail sector, she will be expected to keep the group’s upward sales trajectory on track across its UK and international stores, and online business.

She will also oversee investment in the retailer's online operations, bricks-and-mortar, alongside IT and logistics in a bid to accelerate the group’s growth.

Speaking about her new position, Malhotra said: “I am delighted with my appointment as CEO.

“While the short term retail outlook is unpredictable, I am hugely excited about the future plans and opportunities for the fantastic Harvey Nichols brand.”

Dickson Poon, Chairman and owner of Harvey Nichols, whom Malhotra will report to, added: “Over the past 22 years Manju has repeatedly demonstrated her ability in finance and through her time as Chief Operating Officer, and in particular this year, she has also demonstrated her leadership in developing strategies and optimising business performance during one of the most challenging business environments in recent history.

“With our continued investment, I look forward to building a new long term success for Harvey Nichols as a global luxury omnichannel platform with Manju.”

Like all other non-essential retailers, Harvey Nichols will be forced to shutter its stores in England following the UK government’s decision to scrap its tiered system in favour of a England-wide lockdown due to the exponential rise of Covid-19 cases.

Set to come into force on Wednesday 6 January, the stores are expected to be closed until March, following a review of cases in mid-February.

Back in November, Harvey Nichols warned around 1,500 jobs could be cut in order to deal with the effects of the pandemic.

In the announcement, Malhotra said the pandemic has “changed the shape of the business” and that job losses would be inevitable across all locations.

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