Harrods has recruited former Booths CEO Chris Dee as its new food and home director.
Dee will assume the newly expanded post in October marking a return to upmarket grocery retail after a two-year hiatus. Dee left Booths in June 2017 after 22 years with the chain.
During his time at Booths, Dee worked his way up from wine and spirits buyer, serving across a number of commercial roles to become CEO in February 2015. He was the first non-Booths family member to take up the role of chief executive.
Dee is joining Harrods following a short period as an operating partner for GunnerCooke OP, where he advised private equity funds on potential investments in the fmcg sector and provided strategic counsel to fmcg brands.
He will take over the role from Alex Dower, Harrods’ food and restaurants director, who left the business to “pursue new ventures” according to Harrods. Dee will oversee Harrods’ food, toys, home and technology departments as part of a large-scale investment. This includes ongoing restoration of the historic Harrods food halls and its newly opened toy department.
Harrods said these and further investments over the next two years would lead to the “complete redesign” of its home and technology divisions.
“Food at Harrods is synonymous with quality and prestige, and every food retailer dreams of the opportunity of working with such an iconic brand,” said Dee. “I am hugely excited to apply my experience of working in the premium food business to a brand with such strong values and DNA in the sector. Luxury is about lifestyle and bringing together these lifestyle divisions under one directorship is an important strategic development for the business, and one which I am looking forward to leading.”
Harrods MD Michael Ward added: “Chris is a true leader in the food retailing industry. His knowledge of the importance of cultivating a heritage brand, whilst ensuring we are always leading the way in the provision of the best quality products, will be key to our strategy. We are excited to work with Chris on the next stage of the food journey at Harrods, while also having such an experienced hand guiding our hugely important home divisions.”