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Exclusive: Shop Direct shakes up management structure

Etail group Shop Direct has restructured its product and retail teams and introduced separate managers for different categories within the business.

The teams are divided into: fashion, “developing categories” including seasonal and sports, home, electrical and global sourcing.

Emma Alexander is the category director for fashion, Mike Wheeler for home, Sam Wright for electrical, and Jeremy Stevens for developing categories. Richard Thomas remains as global sourcing director.

Each team will bring together buying and merchandising functions for that category for the first time. Within the wider retail team, they will work much more closely than before with the shared trading, marketing and customer experience functions.

Shop Direct said the move will enable quicker decision-making and a more “customer-centric” approach.

As a result of the changes, six people are exiting the business – this is less than 1% of the retail team.

Sam Perkins, group retail director at Shop Direct, said: “We’re focused on creating a winning customer experience. To achieve that, we’re aligning the way we work to the way our customers shop. In July, we brought together our product and retail teams under the leadership of one executive board director. That was the first step in bringing buying and selling closer together.

“From early September, we started to introduce category management, while aligning categories closer with customer experience, digital product and marketing. We’ve seen great success in the teams where we’ve started to work in this way, and we’re excited by the potential benefits once it’s rolled out more over the coming months.

“We believe category management that’s aligned with digital experience and marketing will allow us to better understand our customers’ needs, to give us quicker, more informed decision-making. It will also help us understand the role each category plays for customers, so we can create more compelling propositions, work more collaboratively with suppliers to explore new opportunities and further empower our teams to deliver for customers.”


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