George at Asda's Matthews joins John Lewis in key lifestyle role
John Lewis has appointed at big-hitter to take on the role of its all-new product director for lifestyle, covering fashion and home. The retailer said hiring Zoe Matthews to the new role represented a “step-change in our business”.
Matthews was previously George at Asda vice-president until December. She has also been fashion director at The Very Group, a director at Gap’s European business and has held senior buying roles at White Stuff, House of Fraser and M&S.
Matthews is understood to have stepped down from Asda as she did not want to take on a new VP role for the George brand that managing director Liz Evans introduced as part of her new business structure.
John Lewis commercial director Kathleen Mitchell said: “With a laser focus on the way our customers are living, Zoe will connect the dots across fashion and home to take our products and services to the next level. She brings impressive lifestyle experience and an inspiring energy – I look forward to seeing her impact on our business.”
Last week, John Lewis Partnership reported its latest half-year results that showed department stores operations sales up 3% at £2.1 billion while against three years ago, they rose 13% like-for-like. And, importantly, fashion continues to be the best-performing category, growing 25% on the year. But sales in the home and technology categories declined.
At the time, it said a successful Christmas “is key for the business given the first half where profits fell. We will need a substantial strengthening of performance". No doubt that’s where Matthews will play an important role.
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