Kirkcaldies is a mid-sized department store in Wellington that has been around since 1863.
It has faced financial strife in recent years as a bricks and mortar store and has been forced to discount stock to compete with its online rivals.
Shewell was a director of the company until February 2014. He was managing director over 10 years ago.
He was formerly the chair of ServiceIQ (the Retail Institute) and a director of AMI Insurance Holdings Limited.
He’ll start at the company on April 8. Milford wraps up there this month.
Before he was at Kirkcaldie & Stains, Milford was previously the general manager Australia for Repco, general manager-chief executive of Pacific Retail Group and general manager of Farmers Trading Company.
The company reported a net loss of $6.5 million last year. In 2013, it made a profit of $168,000.
Kirkcaldie & Stains said last month it was considering a capital return to its shareholders once a new CEO was appointed.
It sold its Harbour City Centre building last year for $45.85 million.
However, they lost $4.3 million on the sale after the unprofitable company paid off various write-downs.
The company also had to pay off $23.5 million in bank debt.
Kirkcaldie & Stains said the board is still waiting for a final payment of $4.75 million for the sale in October.
It said it was looking at three options to return the business to profitability: a focus on retail turnaround, which it predicted would take three to five years; investment; divesting the business altogether or downsizing.
It said it wouldn’t make a decision on what to do until after the new CEO’s appointment.
Its shares have dropped 22 percent in the past 12 months. The last shares traded were at $1.68.