TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Co. says it has appointed Iain Nairn as president of Hudson’s Bay department store chain.

The company says in a statement that Nairn started in the position January 12, 2020.

He replaces Alison Coville, who stepped down in February 2019.

Nairn comes to HBC from kikki.K, a global design and stationary business where he served as CEO.

Prior to that he worked as the chief executive of David Jones, an Australian department store chain founded in 1838. He worked there for a year and a half, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Both previous positions were based in Australia.

“It’s my first role in Canada,” said Nairn, who moved to Toronto before starting the new role. He likened the Toronto atmosphere to that in Australia, saying the people are open and personable.

Foulkes views Nairn’s life abroad — he grew up in the United Kingdom and lived for about the last 15 years in Australia —as a strength.

HBC CEO Helena Foulkes says in a statement that the company conducted a worldwide search to find Nairn, whom she is excited to work with to elevate the brand and drive performance.

Meanwhile, Nairn says few brands have the strong awareness and customer connection that Hudson’s Bay enjoys and he’s thrilled to join the retailer.

In an interview, Nairn said he’ll be accelerating strategies already in place for the chain’s product mix, including reducing some brands and introducing others.

“There’s a whole kind of demographic that’s grown up completely digital, so making sure that we’re relevant to that demographic is important,” he said. “It’s a tough market out there, so there’s more work to be done for sure.”

Source: HBC