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IADS - New President and Vice President

press December 2021 Press release

Mr Holger Blecker (Breuninger) and Ms Kamshim Lau (Lifestyle International) appointed President and Vice President of the IADS

During the 62nd General Assembly of the International Association of Department Stores (IADS) held in Paris on 28th of October 2021, the IADS members elected the Executive Committee for the new term, including the new Association’s President and Vice President.

Mr Holger Blecker, CEO of Breuninger GmbH & Co (Germany) was appointed President of the IADS. Breuninger GmbH & Co, a member of the IADS since 1987, last held the presidency of the Association in 1991 with Mr Willem G Van Agtmael, now the Honorary Chairman of the IADS. Mr Blecker, 51, sharpened his knowledge of trade in several programmes at Harvard Business School and INSEAD, and has been CEO of Breuninger Gmbh & co since 2017. He replaces as President of the Association Mr Juan Carlos Escribano, CEO of El Palacio de Hierro (Mexico).

Ms Kamshim Lau, Executive Director of Lifestyle International Holdings Limited (which operates Sogo department store in Hong-Kong, HKSAR), was appointed Vice-President of the IADS. She was already a member of the Association Executive Committee, and this is the first time that a representative from Lifestyle International Holdings Limited, an IADS member since 2013, is appointed Vice President. Ms Lau, 34 and a graduate from King’s College London and Columbia University in New York, has been Executive Director of Lifestyle International Holdings Limited since 2016. She is also a member of the Hong Kong Retail Management Association’s Executive Committee, and replaces as Vice-President of the Association Mr Peter King, Chairman of Magasin du Nord (Denmark).

This new leadership for the IADS reflects the vast diversity of the business models at work in the world of department stores. It also mirrors the evolution of the world, as this is the second time that an Asian member from the IADS is appointed at the Association leadership level, the first time being with the election of the CEO of Beijing Hualian Group (PRC) as President in 2015.

Both Mr Blecker and Ms Lau represent a new generation of seasoned leaders coming from the world of department stores itself, and both attended the IADS Academy in the past. Mr Escribano and Mr King remain in the Association’s Executive Committee, alongside Mr Nicolas Houzé, CEO of Groupe Galeries Lafayette (France).

As President and Vice-President, Mr Blecker and Ms Lau’s roles will be to define the roadmap for the IADS and control its execution. Their vision and expertise will allow the Association to remain the most exclusive and expert platform for and about department stores in the world, a role that IADS has played continuously since 1928.

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