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M&S poaches another Next buyer

Marks & Spencer has poached another womenswear buyer from rival Next.

It has appointed former Next knitwear buyer Polly Young as jersey buyer for womenswear. Young, who worked as a buyer at Next for eight years across knitwear and jersey, will report into her former Next colleague Paula Bonham-Carter when she joins M&S in June. She is currently on gardening leave.

Young has been replaced with immediate effect by blouses buyer Louisa Randall.

Bonham-Carter joined M&S in January 2014 as head of buying for womenswear, reporting into womenswear director Frances Russell. She was previously buying manager at Next for nearly 10 years.

Laura Charles, whose tenure at Next lasted more than 15 years, also joined M&S as head of buying for lingerie in January 2014. She reports into lingerie director Jo Jenkins, who joined from Next the year before.

As reported by Drapers last week, M&S is focusing on improving the “nitty-gritty” of its core womenswear collection by adding different length and sizing options, in order to keep sales on an upward trend.

The retailer reported 1.2% increase in fashion sales for the 13 weeks to March 28 earlier this month, breaking a cycle of 14 consecutive quarters in decline.


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