Iain Nairn lands at Kikki.K following DJs exit

NarnThis week, former David Jones CEO, Iain Nairn, steps into a new role, leading a retail chain with big international ambitions.

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Nairn, who was replaced as CEO of the iconic department store in September 2015 after just 14 months in the top job, has been appointed CEO of the stationery retailer, Kikki.K.

Meanwhile David Jones’ new boss, long-serving Marks & Spencer executive, John Dixon, began his tenure as CEO of David Jones last month.

Nairn will take over from Kikki.K boss, Russell Parker, who is leaving the business to pursue other opportunities. Parker, who has led the business for the past two years, will be staying on for a period of time to work with Nairn to ensure a seamless handover, the company said.

“We are delighted to welcome Iain to the Kikki.K family,” said Kikki.K founder and creative director, Kristina Karlsson.

“Until late last year, Iain was the CEO of David Jones, and his significant brand experience in leading brands like Witchery, Mimco and the Country Road Group is so important to us, given our vision of being a world-class, meaningful and enduring global business. He will no doubt thrive working with our wonderful team and unique, highly-engaged culture.”

In 2015 Kikki.K opened its first stores in London and Hong Kong and is now preparing to accelerate its growth internationally while maintaining a focus on existing markets, said Kikki.K chairman, Sam McKay.

“We’re looking ahead to open more stores throughout Asia, Europe and the United States,” McKay told Inside Retail Weekly.

“It’s really the perfect time for us to bring on board a CEO with deep international retail-specific experience.”

Kikki.K co-founder, Paul Lacy, said the 15-year-old business now faces more complex challenges and opportunities. He added that Nairn’s appointment is, “in line with the next phase for the brand.”

“We have a huge amount of respect for Iain as a person and a retail leader, and are very excited he is joining us to carry on the exciting journey that all started when Kristina dreamed of starting her own little business years ago,” Lacy said.

Nairn’s departure from David Jones shocked the industry last year, after he was in the midst of implementing a transformation strategy that helped lift sales under the new South African ownership.

“I am extremely excited to be taking on the role as CEO of Kikki.K,” Nairn said. “I have been a long-time admirer of Kikki.K and have known Paul and Kristina for many years.

“They have built a world-class brand, as demonstrated by the recent announcement by WGSN that their Chadstone store was one of the World’s Top 10 Retail Lifestyle Stores. I very much look forward to working with the team to build a hugely successful global business.”

Kikki.K has more than 80 retail stores throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong  and the UK, in addition to an online store that ships to nearly 140 countries across the globe.

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