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28. Ed Connolly, fashion and beauty buying director, John Lewis

Ed Connolly

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After having taken the fashion and beauty reigns at John Lewis in June 2014, Ed Connolly has spent the last year forging his new vision for the two departments, in a bid to attract a more diverse and contemporary shopper. This has included a thorough rejig of the fashion buying teams to ensure each category is given the right prominence and and person to lead it – for example separating out womenswear and accessories – as well as initiating a renewed focus on the growth and development of its own-brand ranges such as contemporary label Kin.

This strategy by the passionate and confident young leader has led to new fashion concepts being launched such as contemporary boutique space Loved & Found, which was unveiled at the new Birmingham Central store in September, and the Denim Wardrobe by Trilogy which launched at Peter Jones in London in January.

With energy and, due to his tech buying background, a strong sense of the role of technology in fashion retailing, Connolly is expected to make big changes at John Lewis. 

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