Francesca’s Andrew Clarke says turnaround includes reaching LGBTQ shoppers


Andrew Clarke, 47, took over as the CEO of the apparel retailer Francesca’s in March 2020.

Source: Francesca’s

When Andrew Clarke was in his late 30s, he was let go from a retail job because of his sexual orientation.

“My boss at the time said to me that my lifestyle was incompatible with the company’s values,” said Clarke, now a 25-year veteran in the retail industry who is also one of retail’s few openly gay CEOs.

“This was earlier in my career, but it wasn’t that long ago,” the 47-year-old said. “I think for the early part of my career, I very much hid my private life. I knew, in some of my earlier roles, that my boyfriend — who then became my husband — wouldn’t be welcome at company…


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