City thumbs-down for new House of Fraser boss

House of Fraser, the beleaguered department store group that ousted its managing director last month, moved quickly to fill the void yesterday when it named former Texas Homecare chief John Coleman as its new chief executive.

However, the choice disappointed the City, with analysts saying Mr Coleman was not the "big hitter" required to address House of Fraser's difficulties. The shares slumped 14p to 175p - below the 180p issue price when the company came to the stock market two years ago - as the City began to discount the possibility of House of Fraser becoming a takeover target.

Some analysts said Mr Coleman's appointment appeared to strengthen the position of Brian McGowan, the group's non-executive chairman, who pledged to stay on yesterday in spite of the company's poor performance under his stewardship.

Robert Snaith, stores analyst at Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull, said: "Worthy though John Coleman is, he is not the `big hitter' many were hoping for. It is a chain with a lot of difficulties to put right and it has no genuine flagship store to carry it through the bad times."

Tony Shiret, at BZW, said: "The share price had moved up in anticipation of a bit more than this. He will have his work cut out to live up to the expectations of the market."

The share price rise had been fuelled by a mixture of takeover speculation and rumours that David Dworkin, the American retailer who led the revival of Storehouse, was in line for the top job.

Mr McGowan defended the appointment though he stopped short of saying that Mr Coleman was first choice. "No one turned me down. I probably saw eight people and John came out as easily the best. He was also available immediately."

Mr Coleman, 43, will be paid a salary of pounds 300,000 plus a performance- related bonus. He will also be eligible for share options worth four times the level of his salary and has a one-year rolling contract. He takes over from Andrew Jennings, who was ousted from the managing director's position last month after a series of profits warnings.

Mr Coleman said he was looking forward to the challenge of turning round one of the worst-performing retailers on the stock market. "Obviously I'm very excited. Of course there are problems but the brands are strong and so is the team here."

He declined to be drawn on strategy but said he would be conducting an immediate review when he joins the company on 29 April.

Mr Coleman has been keen to return to the high street since his departure from Texas Homecare, following its takeover by Sainsbury last year. He joined forces with the Barry Dale consortium that tried unsuccessfully to take over Littlewoods earlier this year.

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Administrator

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...

Customer Service Executive / Inbound Customer Service Agent

£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...

ASP.NET Web Developer / .NET Developer

£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album