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Published
Mar 21, 2013
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Esprit taps former Carrefour and Inditex manager José Antonio Ramos to run strategy

Published
Mar 21, 2013

Esprit continues to raid Inditex for expertise. It is only logical that José Manuel Martinez, the new Esprit CEO since September and former Inditex manager, has established his own strategic team to shape new concepts. And it is definitely an inner circle more experienced in retail and fast fashion than wholesale.

Esprit’s new corner at Galeries Lafayette.

The unit will be led by José Antonio Ramos, former senior manager at Carrefour Spain, where his last job in the food sector. Ramos also spent four years in Zara’s product division.

He is backed up by Arndt Brockmann, former boss of Inditex Germany and director of international retail for S. Oliver. New management recruitment also include Juan Chaparro and Elena Lazcanotegui, who both arrived at the beginning of the year in Ratingen, near Düsseldorf, where the company’s business headquarters are located.

Chaparro is an expert in supply chain management and formerly worked as a buying manager for Zara. He also worked nine years at Pull & Bear, another of the Spanish group’s labels.

Elena Lazcanotegui’s new job is more about leading initiatives for products and the brand. She was at Zara for fifteen years where she was most recently in charge of product. This “Corporate Strategy Unit” has supposedly become José Manuel Martinez’s core management team.

It remains to be seen if the Inditex flank is getting along with other management, such as Melody Harris-Jensbach, management board member since January 2012 and in charge of licensing and product. For the time being, given the profile of the new recruits, Esprit will likely prioritize its single brand stores and improve its supply chain.

The group’s retail business, 60% of its revenues, was able to limit the damage from July to December by a drop of 13% in sales at a constant exchange rate. In Europe, retail activity is down nearly 5%. During the first half of its fiscal year beginning July 1, sales have dropped by more than 13% to 13.5 billion Hong Kong dollars.

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