• Raju Vuppalapati
    Raju Vuppalapati

R.M. Williams CEO Raju Vuppalapati has been appointed by Woolworths Holdings (South Africa) as the new CEO of Country Road Group (CRG). 

The appointment follows former CRG CEO Scott Fyfe's move over to sister business David Jones in October 2020. 

Vuppalapati joins CRG after R.M. Williams was acquired by Andrew 'Twiggy' Forest's investment company Tattarang for $190 million, also in October last year. 

The long-serving CEO is widely credited for the successful brand repositioning and subsequent growth of the R.M. Williams business in his seven-year tenure. 

CRG, which comprises brands Country Road, Mimco, Witchery, Trenery and Politix, is set to benefit from Vuppalapati's leadership, as it rebuilds after suffering blows during COVID lockdowns - especially in Victoria. 

For the first half of FY21 Woolworths Holdings reported that CRG sales over the half declined by 5.2% and by 2.4% in comparable stores. 

However, the business was showing positive signs at the end of the half, delivering strong sales growth of 6.7% in the last six weeks of the period, underpinned by new product ranges, especially in the Country Road brand. 

Speaking on his appointment, Vuppalapati said that he is excited to join the CRG business. 

"I am delighted to be joining Country Road Group and to be working with a portfolio of some of Australia’s most iconic and most loved clothing and lifestyle brands," he told the AFR. 

"It is a great business, and I am looking forward to working closely with the talented CRG team.

"This is an incredibly dynamic time in retail and I am excited by the opportunities ahead," he said. 

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