Harper Dennis Hobbs appoints new CEO

James Ebel, CEO, Harper Dennis Hobbs.

Independent retail real estate agency Harper Dennis Hobbs has announced the appointment of James Ebel as its new CEO.

James Ebel, who has been working at Harper Dennis Hobbs since 2004, is moving from the role of executive director and will take the lead in delivering the company’s business strategy. This comes as the retail sector moves into a time of change, with the continued challenges associated with the rise of e-commerce and the impact of Brexit set to influence the operations of physical stores.

Since joining the business 14 years ago, James has been instrumental in the growth of Harper Dennis Hobbs and has led the way in expanding the company’s client base – most notably with US brands looking to secure their first sites in the UK and Europe. He has played a key role in securing deals for brands including Forever 21, J.Crew, Peloton and West Elm, amongst many others.

Commenting on his appointment, James said:

“I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved at Harper Dennis Hobbs over the past decade and I’m excited to be leading the business as we enter a new chapter for retail over the coming years.

“Despite the recent headlines, it’s evident the role of bricks and mortar stores is as important as ever to the success of retailers. We’re witnessing a number of online retailers diversifying their offering, with legendary brands including Microsoft now realising the unique benefits of having a presence on the UK’s major high streets. It’s an exciting time for British retail and I predict it won’t be long until we see more American and other international brands making their mark on the nation’s shopping districts.”

Recent figures revealed by Harper Dennis Hobbs predicts the launch of HS2 and Crossrail could pump an estimated £1.4billion into London’s West End over the next 15 years.

James’ appointment follows the news that current CEO David Harper will adopt the new role of Chairman where he will continue to play an active role within the business.