Holt Renfrew replaces president with Canadian Tire exec
What do high-end fashion and auto parts have in common? Mark Derbyshire. The man who was once a marketing whiz for Canadian Tire is the new president of Holt Renfrew, Canada’s biggest luxury retailer. Derbyshire has been with Wittington Fashion Retail Group, Holts’ parent company, for six years as the head of human resources. He replaces outgoing president Caryn Lerner, a veteran of the fashion industry (including stints at Prada and Gucci) who held the position for five years. Lerner will continue as an independent consultant to Wittington.
The sudden announcement has prompted speculation about the company’s profitability in 2009. “I don’t think their results have been spectacular,” retail consultant Maureen Atkinson told the Star. “I think that’s been an issue and a challenge. I don’t think it’s her. I think it is what it is. The economy. I think there’s a whole bunch of reasons why they’re not really doing well.” But the retailer denies rumours of bad performance in 2009 and gave no reason for Lerner’s untimely sacking.
So far, no other staff or direction changes have been announced, and there is no word on the development of Holt Renfrew money. Stay tuned for further updates.
• Changes at the top for Holts [Globe and Mail]
• Holt Renfrew pulls presidential switch [Toronto Star]
10 thoughts on “Holt Renfrew replaces president with Canadian Tire exec”
This store is in trouble. And as well, it should be. Lerner comes into power and removes all the lines that the Boomers (the people who can actually afford their prices) loved like Dana Buchman, Eileen Fisher, the plus-size dept etc. and decides to go VERY high-end Euro Trash. Dumb move. We’re Canadians.
Boomers now walk up and down Bloor St., wondering what they can spend their money on.
Also, cosmetics is a joke–there’s no reason to shop at Holts. They have NO exclusive brands anymore. You can get EVERYTHING at Shoppers Drug Mart and can claim your points while you’re at it.
Good luck to the new President–he has his work cut out for him.
Holts is so boring. It needs to wow me like Bergdorf and Neiman Marcus do when I visit the states. The selection is crazy.
On cosmetics: It’s hard to have an exclusive line now. If you can’t get it at Shoppers, you can get it at Sephora.
I also think they need to pick up on some newer designers. I’ve heard of almost every single brand in the store. They really need to take some risks! Examples of people they could look at:
Allison Izu (http://www.allisonizu.com)
leave holts alone! We as canadians are really a lower class then americans and Holts is our only hope to pretend that we have some clss-so leave them alone-when I go in there I see all the middle class people pretending to be rich-also the holts at yorkdale now looks like a walmart with racks of clothes on sale-racks of boring shirts-did u see the mens section lately-holts snob up and stop catering to the lower class canadian-up ur prices and stop the walmart white trash sales
I can’t stand Holts! Our only “high” end department store in Toronto. It doesn’t even come close to Neiman, Saks etc. I spend my $ in the states…so much more selection.
WHY DO MORE CANADIANS SHOP AT HOLT RENFREW ….ITS MAINLY BECAUSE OF THE CLOTHES….GET IT… LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT……OR GO TO GARBAGE-MART
Holt’s cannot fix “ugly”, which is what the rich look like after their ridliculous cosmetic and fashion expenditures.
Retail in Canada stinks. I used to live in NY, but back to the drudgery that is Canadian shopping. Workers at Holts think they are all that, when they are just offering less variety and higher prices, and snobbier attidudes than on Madison or Fifth!
Same applies across all of Bloor Street’s so-called “high-end” strip, which is really a small assortment of understocked and over-staffed mini-versions of good/half-decent stores. It’s like the high-end retail potemkin village – there’s no there over there. To top it all off, the stare-downs you get!
I agree with the poster who wrote that Holt’s is where middle class people shop to pretend they’re rich, but the workers act like they are richer than everybody!
I agree as I have been in there briefly in the store and no help at all if you don’t have a label on your clothes or don’t have the latest fashion on. Stuck up and pretencious really. But the only thing they have that I love is the cafe it is affordable and everything is good. No one gives me attitude and good customer service better than most of the restaurants I have been to lately.
But one note to Holts Cafe if you are reading this please invest in lower chair seating none of this bar stool thing. If you are height deficient as I am I fall off them and have trouble getting on. Not very disabled friendly either. But liking the new out of the door patio seating I had to laugh when my friend told me about it. But at least that seating is normal. As for the food you have to go there and eat it is divine and healthy and clean. The rest of Holts could learn something from their cafe staff.
There are times in society that all things need alittle tweek here and there. I ,myself,have read the comments,and can Identify. Yet,your comments are what will put Holt’s back where it has always been…The Best ! I can assure you just coming from Bergdorf Goodman’s in New York,they are even worst with whom walks in the door. We must always keep Holt Renfrew will always the staple of our luxury in Canada. ( whether we can afford it or not) It would be a shame to not all get together and support it in any way…even if it is just walkingin the door. You may all think I have had it all in my life..well,I always walk in there for the spirit of what Canada can bring. I think it is wonderful you have all taken your time,as myself,to give your Honesty. Honesty is a quality that is so rare. Give it time,and I’m sure you will comment differentely. Cheers,Carling Bassett
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