John Lewis has raided Accessorize to recruit a new trading director, strengthening the leadership team as the department store group pursues a turnaround.

Kathleen Mitchell

John Lewis has named Kathleen Mitchell as trading director

John Lewis has hired Accessorize managing director Kathleen Mitchell for the role, Retail Week can reveal.

She will play a key part in the reinvigoration of John Lewis, bringing experience of running a business transformation programme at Accessorize.

At John Lewis Mitchell will lead trading strategy across home, fashion and beauty, and electricals in-store and online, and curating “the best products and services”.

John Lewis

Mitchell also brings experience from beauty giant L’Oréal, where she has held a number of marketing and management roles in the UK and US.  She was also formerly global managing director of fashion tech start-up Stella & Dot. 

John Lewis executive director Pippa Wicks said: “Kathleen brings a huge amount of experience in modernising retail brands which will help support the turnaround of our John Lewis business.

“She will lead our trading strategy across all categories, ensuring that we continue to inspire and delight our customers” 

“I look forward to working with the team to deliver customers an inspiring retail experience”

Mitchell said: “I’m thrilled to be joining at a time which is so exciting for the brand. I look forward to working with Pippa and the team to deliver customers an inspiring retail experience offering more of what they love wherever, whenever and however they choose to shop with us.” 

She will join John Lewis in mid-September. The retailer has hired a variety of new leaders as part of its transformation push, including online trade director Steve Masterton from Dunelm, director of store of the future Stephen Spencer from Lululemon and head of brand and marketing Rosie Hanley, from eBay.