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TK Maxx readies itself for Euro assault

TJX Europe, which operates off-price retailer TK Maxx, has shaken up its team as it steps up its drive to become a pan-European retailer.

The group has appointed a new managing director for the UK and Republic of Ireland and a group buying director as part of a string of appointments that are expected to underpin strong expansion plans at the business.

Over the past two years, TJX Europe has accelerated its store openings in Europe, with the debut of TK Maxx in Germany and Poland.

The group has plans to turn TK Maxx into a 275-store chain in the UK and Ireland. It is set to have 300 stores in Germany and opened four stores in Poland in the latter half of last year. At present there are a total of 263 TK Maxx stores in Europe.

Three of the appointments are at senior management level, reporting to TJX Europe group president and senior executive vice-president Paul Sweetenham.

Doug Mizzi replaces Susanne Given as managing director for the UK and Ireland. Mizzi has been with parent company TJX Companies for 22 years, latterly as chief operating officer of its Canadian business.

Regina Albanese, who for the past year has been general merchandising manager for womenswear at TJX Europe, has been promoted to group buying director. She will also head up menswear and kidswear.

Dave Alves, formerly general merchandising manager for home, has become group buying and business director and will also head up footwear, lingerie and accessories. In addition, Alves will oversee the ecommerce operation, which launched a transactional website in May.

In the buying team, TJX Europe has appointed Marisa Selfa as buying director for womenswear, reporting to Albanese. She will join on March 3 from Spanish retail giant Cortefiel, where she was managing director.

Grant Groome has been promoted from senior buying manager to buying director for womenswear and Pierre Gaillard, buying director, will take on extra responsibility for lingerie and beauty in the accessories department.

Former buying manager Andy Dance has been appointed to senior buying manager for menswear.

TJX Europe has also promoted Julian Baker to ecommerce director, reporting to Alves.

Tom Cartledge has become property director for the UK and Ireland.

As a result of the changes, it is understood that TK Maxx is recruiting for a string of positions at senior and buying levels.

TK Maxx has benefited from the flight to value during the downturn, with TJX Companies - which includes the European division’s performance - reporting a 14% like-for-like rise in sales in the five weeks to January 2.

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