John Lewis & Partners has appointed its first ever director of services as it presses ahead with plans to broaden its proposition beyond retail.

The department store business, which wants to extend its services in the areas of finance, home assurance and home improvement, has promoted Sean Allam to the newly created position.

Allam, who is currently director of commercial operations at John Lewis & Partners, will take up the role on October 1, reporting directly to boss Paula Nickolds.

The appointment comes after John Lewis & Partners revealed earlier this year that it will focus its strategy on unique products, personal service and expanding into new services.

John Lewis & Partners said the team responsible for delivering those services would be brought together under Allam’s leadership.

He will assume responsibility for the product services, financial services and hospitality teams, as well as business-to-business and international development.

Allam, who joined the John Lewis Partnership back in January 2008, said: “Our expansion into services presents a significant opportunity to grow our business, and by focusing on the areas where we know we can add the most value, I believe we are well-placed to succeed.

“We have already made great progress, for example with the acquisition of Opun and the roll-out of our home solutions service to more areas, including the whole of London.

“I am looking forward to taking up my new role and continuing to work with my colleagues on strengthening and growing this integral part of our business.”

Nickolds added: “We are committed to winning and maintaining our customers’ trust, and we are being very careful in how we approach our plans to expand our brand beyond our shops and online.

“Sean brings extensive knowledge of our business and substantial experience working collaboratively with teams across the division, and I am confident Sean will lead an exciting transformation of this area.”