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Sears Appoints Former Primark Exec President of Apparel

Struggling Sears Holding Corp. has hired fast-fashion retail veteran Liz Simon as SVP/President of Sears Apparel.

Industry insiders alerted Sourcing Journal to the news earlier today and a call to the company’s West Coast apparel office in San Francisco confirmed the tip. Simon’s assistant said she expects her to start “within the next few weeks.”

The company’s corporate public relations department could not be reached for further comment but Simon’s LinkedIn page has been updated to list her new title.

Simon, who was most recently executive director of general merchandise at French retailer Kiabi, comes from an affordable-fashion background that includes stints at Irish discount chain Primark, Dutch clothing chain C&A and the U.K.’s Marks & Spencer.

News of the hire follows October’s announcement that Sears would lease space in seven stores in top-rated U.S. malls to Primark, which has been highly successful in Europe by selling on-trend apparel at deeply discounted prices. As European behemoths H&M and Zara continue to gain market share in the U.S., retail analysts say Sears is betting that its new strategy of subleasing space will drive a turnaround in fortunes by helping it capture share in the growing fast-fashion market.