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Karen Millen hires AllSaints etail boss

Womenswear chain Karen Millen has appointed Lynn Ritson to the newly created role of ecommerce director.

Ritson joins in July after a stint at AllSaints where she held the same role. Karen Millen joint managing director Gemma Metheringham said Ritson’s appointment would boost the chain’s overseas expansion plans.

International online sales account for 10% of total web sales at Karen Millen and Metheringham wants Ritson to drive that to 60%.

In the year to the end of February, 60% of Karen Millen’s £250m total turnover was generated overseas. International sales grew 23% during the year and within that the business experienced an 81% uplift in online sales overseas.

Karen Millen, which trades in 41 territories, delivers to 18 countries from its UK website, www.karenmillen.com. Last year, it set up a US site and will launch a site in Australia this autumn. By November, it will have launched its first translated site in Germany.

Metheringham said: “We hope Lynn will define the brand’s personality online. The opportunity online overseas is huge.”

In March, Karen Millen was split from parent company Aurora Fashions to run as an independent business to enable it to expand globally.

It is understood that Aurora, which comprises womenswear chains Coast, Oasis and Warehouse, is seeking ecommerce roles for its UK operation and for its overseas websites including Germany and the US. It is thought that the positions are not at director level.

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