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John Lewis commercial director takes on 'bricks and clicks'

John Lewis has charged commercial director Andrea O’Donnell with overseeing retail development, format development and retail implementation at the department store chain.

O’Donnell already has responsibility for multichannel and online selling. She continues to report to John Lewis managing director Andy Street.

John Lewis said the appointment “will bring together ‘bricks and clicks’ growth under one director, a shift that recognises changing customer shopping habits”.

O’Donnell, who joined John Lewis in June 2004, will take up the role on March 28. She became commercial director in February last year.

Prior to joining John Lewis she was buying and merchandising director at lifestyle brand Hackett and held various roles in buying, merchandising and supply chain at Arcadia, Debenhams and Jaeger.

Street said: “John Lewis has made no secret of the fact it intends to build on its multichannel strengths. By putting accountability for ‘bricks and clicks’ in one area, our board now has the best possible structure to deliver the division’s ambitious plans.

“Andrea has driven forward our multichannel offering and overseen the very successful relaunch of our fashion website so is ideally placed to deliver innovation across all our channels and formats.”

Last month, John Lewis, which has 29 stores, said that Andrew Murphy would become director of retail operations on March 29. O’Donnell’s role includes the retail development elements of retail director Gareth Thomas’ role, who will take early retirement this month

It also follows the departure of John Lewis Direct managing director Robin Terrell, who left in the new year, following the integration of the multichannel business into the main John Lewis business.

Terrell joined House of Fraser last month to drive its multichannel and international aspirations.

On Thursday, the John Lewis Partnership - which includes the Waitrose grocery chain - is expected to say that pre-tax profit for the year to January 31 was £315m compared with £280m a year ago and deliver a 14% bonus to its 70,000 employees.

 

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