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Primark lures Topshop merchandiser

Topshop and Topman merchandising boss Gavin Mackie is leaving his role at the Arcadia Group retailers to join high street rival Primark.

Drapers understands that Mackie, who has been head of merchandising at the menswear and womenswear chains since April 2011, will take on the same role at the Associated British Foods-owned value retailer, although it is not clear who he is replacing.

Arcadia told Drapers it had begun the process of recruiting for Mackie’s replacement, but Primark declined to comment on the move.

The move takes Mackie back to his value roots, having spent more than 11 years at Peacocks before moving to New Look in 2007 to head up merchandising for almost four years.

He joins Primark as the retailer reports soaring sales, up 20% over the three months to June 22, fuelled by a rise in selling space and like-for-like growth.

According to Arcadia’s latest results, the business made a total pre-tax profit after exceptional items of £103.7m in the year to August 25, 2012. This compares with a loss for 2010-11 of more than £120m.

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