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Debenhams names new global sourcing director

Debenhams has appointed former Tesco clothing boss, Richard Jones, as its new trading director of global sourcing.

His role, which will take effect on 5 February, will include leading Debenhams’ product development and sourcing team, which includes overseas hubs in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Jones most recently worked at Australian retailer Target as merchandise trading director, a role which he held for three years from 2013.

Prior to this, he joined Tesco in 2009 as clothing and home commercial director before joining Irish supermarket Dunnes Stores in 2011 as director of textiles, where he worked for two years.

He also played a significant part in developing the Sainsbury’s TU clothing business and brand. He worked there as clothing divisional director for six years until 2009.

Jones additionally held various roles in store management, buying, merchandising and procurement at Marks & Spencer, between 1985 and 2002.

Angela Morrison, Debenhams IT and supply chain director, said: “Richard joins Debenhams with excellent knowledge and credentials in both sourcing and product development.

“He will undoubtedly be a real asset as he leads Debenhams UK and international teams to improve our product offer as we continue to implement the Debenhams Redesigned strategy.”

The news comes after Steven Cook joined earlier this month from Canadian retailer Holt Renfrew, as Debenhams’ new fashion and home managing director.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Mmmm, no disrespect to Richard i'm sure he is top of his field having worked for Tesco's, Sainsburys etc but for Debs this appears on the surface at least, to be more of the same old, same old. There is no shortage of good innovative suppliers, these are the same suppliers that made Debs the force it once was in the days of Belinda and Paul, the extended and retrospective payment terms drove them away. What Debs needs is innovative supplier input and above all else to start putting product first and this to some extent includes stopping price/margin/sourcing obsession. As has been expressed on these pages countless times they have ripped the heart out of the clothing offer over the years. Obsessing with sourcing is old skool, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mars !!! really, what for?? basics, semi basics, ok fine but if they haven't nailed this after all these years then what hope! I suspect a massive percentage of thier product comes from BDesh already which gives a great margin anyway on massive lead-times. Debs is not yet in A & E but it's not that far off, it has to make itself desirable and make radical changes, it can only do this by bringing in Management that's dynamic and talented with proven track record to drag this Brand back to what it once was, this will also require using talented suppliers, ones who don't just knock out product to mark down but suppliers with real design innovation and who pride themselves in supplying merchandise that sells on it's own merit. These are the same manufacturers that used to supply them, they are still there, they are supplying the successful retailers/e-tailers, on 30, 45, 60 day payment terms, they walked away from the 120 days + or discounted payment schemes dreamed up to add more to the bottom line. Always always always desirable product first, the key is knowing where to find it, it's a lot closer than you think, Butterflying around the World to source for margin is for "Supermarket Fashion" not for Department Store Fashion, max max max 90 days Ex Lead Time is required, anything more than this in current climate means massive inflexibility and is just chasing margin, which is fine if your BHS (RIP) but not if your trying to become the shinny attractive stores of your hey day.

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  • A brilliantly put statement, otherwise they are all chasing the same customer, and there's always one who'll do it cheaper than you!

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