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Management shake-up at Hobbs, Whistles, Phase Eight as Meg Lustman exits

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today Dec 14, 2018
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TFG London, the owner of Hobbs, Whistles and Phase Eight, has announced the departure of Hobbs CEO Meg Lustman and the appointment of new managing directors for each of the three brands.


Hobbs recently opened its first store in Hong Kong - Rue Madame Fashion Group


Lustman is leaving Hobbs to explore non-executive opportunities after four years at the helm of the premium clothing label, and will be replaced by Justin Hampshire who is taking over as managing director in January.

Hampshire is moving from Whistles, where he has been managing director for two years. His role will be taken up by Helen Williamson, currently brand director at the same brand.

Meanwhile, ex-House of Fraser fashion buying and merchandising director Simon Pickering has been hired to become managing director of Phase Eight, according to Retail Gazette.

He will take over from TFG London chief executive Ben Barnett. The UK arm of the South African retail business acquired Phase Eight in 2015, Wshitles in 2016 and Hobbs in 2017. The company also owns G-Star Raw.

In the six months to end of September, the group enjoyed record sales and 2.3% growth on a like-for-like basis. But its links to House of Fraser sent its EBITDA down to £13.7m from £14.8m following a £2.5m debt write-off.

“Since the acquisition of Phase Eight in 2015, we have invested in building strong foundations for long term growth and are pleased to see the results of this in our first half figures,” said Anthony Thunstrom, CEO of The Foschini Group.

“As such, despite the well documented challenges to the UK market, we look forward to the future with optimism.”

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