Over the past three years, James Brown has overseen a revamp of Tu’s product, branding and in-store environment as part of efforts to step up its fashion credentials. Earlier this year he drafted in Portas, the creative agency founded by self-styled “queen of shops” Mary Portas, to accelerate its strategy to become a destination brand. Since then, Tu has introduced its first full range of men’s formalwear, and women’s occasionwear is on the cards for spring 18.
Sales at Tu grew in the 28 weeks to 23 September, up 6.8% on the same period in 2016. In July, Brown predicted that annual sales would hit the £1bn mark for the first time “within 12 months” – two years ahead of the original target. Last month, he was promoted from commercial director of Sainsbury’s to the same role across the combined Sainsbury’s Argos business.