Jul 17, 2019
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Shop Direct names Guy Farmer new trading director

Jul 17, 2019

UK e-tail giant Shop Direct has appointed Guy Farmer as group trading director as of September. He’ll report to Sam Perkins, managing director, retail. His experience in the past almost-three decades has mainly been in beauty. Farmer currently works at Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) as VP and global retail own-brand director, which makes him responsible for all Boots branded products worldwide. 


At Shop Direct, which owns the successful Very webstore, he’ll work with category directors and the director of the company’s global sourcing operation to oversee teams including buying, merchandising, design, sourcing, data intelligence, finance and trading. 

It’s a key role and the company said that the “amalgamation of these previously separate functions into category teams represents a new approach to the end-to-end customer experience and supply chain.” It began last year with the appointment of fashion, home, electrical and developing category directors “and is generating strong results, including a successful peak period which saw group revenue up 3.7% year-on-year for the seven weeks up to and including 28 December 2018.”

Farmer has been at Boots for eight years and has been in charge of a 155-strong multifunctional team, while also setting up a global centre of excellence for the development of WBA’s own-brand business. Other roles he’s held there include global director for its cosmetics brands, trading director for healthcare & lifestyle, and trading director for beauty. 

Prior to Boots, he spent 13 years at L’Oréal, moving from marketing director to MD and country manager for Portugal. And before that he spent six years in brand and category management positions at Procter & Gamble.
Meanwhile, Shop Direct also said its retail team has consolidated marketing activity under new CMO Carly O’Brien. She joined the business in early 2019 and has been interim CMO since April, now moving to take over the role permanently. 

She has 18 years’ customer management and financial services experience, most recently as marketing director at Virgin Money Digital Bank. The company said “her appointment as CMO shows Shop Direct’s ambition to use its rich data in new ways to create an even better customer experience."

Sam Perkins added: “Guy’s and Carly’s expertise will allow us to make big steps forward in our mission to give customers the best products and online journey, whilst helping them spread the cost.
“Guy’s outstanding trading and product experience means he’s ideally placed to cement our category management approach and even further improve the speed and quality of our commercial and customer decisions. Carly is already an integral part of the team and will use her marketing expertise to bring us closer to our customers through data and enable them to connect with our retail brands in new ways.”

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