Womenswear retailer Hobbs has poached Ted Baker’s buying and merchandising director to head up its own team.
Helen Williamson has worked at Ted Baker since 2006, progressing from senior merchandiser to buying and merchandising director.
Prior to this Williamson, who starts at Hobbs at the end of January next year, also held roles at Arcadia and Marks & Spencer.
Chief executive Nicky Dulieu said: “Helen is the final piece in the puzzle to completing our management team as we look to grow the business both online and internationally.”
Williamson’s appointment comes as Hobbs reports a strong start to the autumn season with sales in October up 18% compared to the same month last year.
Ankle boots and dresses have been the best-selling categories so far this season, helping to grow sales by 42%. Sales across all categories between February and October were up 9% compared to the previous year.
Online has also proved a strong growth area for the retailer, with Hobbs enjoying its single biggest online sales day in October, up 20% on its previous record day. Of its total transactions, 39% came from mobile devices, helping to contribute to a 55% sales growth rate online for the year-to-date.
“We’ve had a fantastic start to the season, with coats and boots being key drivers as customers seek high quality, contemporary winter styles,” Dulieu said.