Jack Wills is amping up its wholesale strategy after poaching SuperGroup international business development head Greg Roberts as it bids to expand the division.

This is the first time that the preppy fashion retailer, founded by chief executive Peter Williams who returned to head up the business in 2015, has embarked on a wholesale expansion strategy.

Roberts, who has held his role at SuperGroup since 2011, will focus on expanding Jack Wills’ wholesale business in the UK and launching its wholesale division in Europe, with a particular focus on Northern Europe and Scandinavia.

He will also establish a wholesale presence to build on the network of stores that Jack Wills already has in North America, the Middle East and Asia.

Roberts’ appointment comes off the back of the retailer appointing its first chief marketing officer, Claire Waugh, who joined from Burberry.

‘New chapter’

Williams said: “This is the beginning of a significant new chapter in the life of Jack Wills. This will significantly grow our sales and international footprint, and increase the awareness and presence of the brand globally.

“We have never before had the resource, investment or scale to do this and it has been the missing piece of the jigsaw. In order to build on our growth and success to date and take us to the next level, we need to meaningfully develop this side of the business to properly grow our sales, profit and margin.

“Greg is one of the best in the industry and I am absolutely delighted that he will be joining us to take on responsibility for making this new project a huge success.”

Williams recently joined forces with Liberty department store owner BlueGem to acquire the business he founded from long-standing investor Inflexion.

In its last full-years, Jack Wills reported an operating profit of £730,000 on sales of £142.4m, a rise of 4% on the previous year.