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Primark lures New Look’s Lawton to menswear role

Primark has poached New Look’s head of menswear, Steve Lawton, for a buying director role at the value giant.

It is the second key hiring move by Primark this week, after it earlier lured Matalan buying director John Lyttle to the role of chief operating officer. Lyttle has joined Primark with responsibility for buying and sourcing across both the value chain’s UK and its international divisions.

Lawton, who is thought to be responsible for menswear in his new role, will report to Lyttle.

Primark, which is owned by Associated British Foods, operates 198 stores in countries including the UK, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the Republic of Ireland, where it trades as Penneys. It posted a 15% sales rise in the 16 weeks to June 19.

Primark said: “[Lyttle’s] appointment reiterates Primark’s commitment to invest in order to ensure the continued success of the Penneys and Primark brands and to support future expansion plans.”

Lyttle, who has a strong buying and merchandising background, has taken on his role from Primark chief executive Paul Marchant, who was promoted in September at the same time that founder Arthur Ryan left the role. Ryan retains the position of chairman.

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