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Next hires USC brand director Emma Alexander

Next has appointed former USC director Emma Alexander to the newly-created role of head of brands, as the high street chain looks to ramp up its third-party offer.

Alexander will manage Next’s roster of external brands, which include Joules, Nike and Lyle & Scott across the Next Directory and Label, the retailer’s standalone website selling brands across womenswear, menswear and kidswear including Warehouse, Oasis and Superdry, which launched in March. It is understood Alexander has been hired as part of a strategy to focus more on selling third-party brands.

In recent years a host of retailers such as New Look, Tesco and East have introduced third-party brands in order to shake-up their offer and compete against etailers such as Asos.

Alexander starts the role on Monday (August 8) after resigning from her role of brand director at USC, where she had worked for four years. It is believed USC has yet to replace Alexander, who left in July. USC was unavailable for comment.

Prior to USC, Alexander was head of buying at Marks & Spencer. She has also worked in buying roles at Jaeger and River Island.

The Lord Wolfson-run retailer reported soaring profits in its last financial year, with pre-tax profit up 12% to £695m for the 12 months to the end of January. Sales climbed 5.4% to £3.7bn, with its online and catalogue business Next Directory recording a 12.4% growth.  

Next and Alexander declined to comment.

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