Jul 15, 2019
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M&S poaches Topshop fashion director in younger shopper drive

Jul 15, 2019

The departure of M&S’s clothing, home and beauty head Jill McDonald, has been followed up by news that the retailer has headhunted Maddy Evans, the fashion director of Topshop, as it follows a new approach to attracting younger shoppers. She should be in place in her new role by November.

M&S (left) wants to take a leaf out of Topshop's book (right) as it signs up Maddy Evans for a key role

It's an interesting move given that the company had seemed to shift away from concerted attempts to reach younger consumers in favour of a stronger focus on ‘Mrs M&S’, its core older shopper.

But the company’s efforts to revive its flagging (but still huge) fashion operations seem to have stalled. And well publicised problems with supply issues around popular denim styles earlier this year highlighted how, even when it has fashion successes, it has struggled to deliver enough stock to meet demand for those items.

The news of the Maddy Evans appointment came in the Mail on Sunday, which said that she's expected to “inject 'more confidence' into womenswear and help drive the retailer's strategy of appealing to young families.”

That doesn't mean that Evans is a like-for-like replacement for McDonald as company CEO Steve Rowe has taken direct responsibility for oversight of the Clothing and Home division.

But her arrival is part of a drive to generate more mega-money hit product lines. It's believed she’ll be working most closely with womenswear and childrenswear head Jill Stanton, although her full remit hasn't been officially announced.

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