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John Lewis appoints Ruis as fashion boss in buying rejig

John Lewis head of menswear Peter Ruis has been given the new overarching role of buying director for fashion, as part of a major buying restructure.

Ruis will move from his role as menswear and leisure buying director to the new position, giving him responsibility for men's, women's and kids' wear, as well as beauty and sports.

Amanda Scott will become head of buying for womenswear accessories and beauty. She was previously womenswear buying director.

Monsoon childrenswear director Camilla Rowe has been poached to head John Lewis's buying team for kidswear, toys and crafts. Helen Keppel-Compton, who was kidswear buying director, will become head of buying for consumer electricals. Claire Northwood will remain as central buyer for branded ranges.

The retailer will also appoint a head of buying for womenswear, as well as a head of buying for menswear and sports.

Ruis said: "We are serious about fashion, and the new structure will give us consistency as the business grows. We want a strong own-brand offer and a great brand portfolio."

John Lewis has been revamping its fashion offer in the past couple of years, streamlining its own-brand ranges, introducing more new brands and testing new shopfit ideas. Ruis has overseen the roll-out of new menswear areas into 17 stores and will also introduce a Designer Collective area to test new brands.

The 26-store business bucked the trading trend on the high street as unseasonable weather helped to push shoppers into stores. Menswear, leisure and beauty sales were up 7.8% for the week to June 16, with branded men's casualwear and accessories singled out as winners, helped by Father's Day. Womenswear was up 4.2%. Overall sales rose 9.5%, with John Lewis Direct sales up 30.8%. It is the retailer's third consecutive week of sales growth.

John Lewis plans to open 10 more stores by 2017, with the potential for another 10, in an attempt to double its turnover. Sales rose 10.6% to £2.7 billion for the year to January 27.

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