Next has appointed Jeremy Stakol as executive director and lead group investments, acquisitions and third-party brands director, starting on April 3.

In the executive director role, he will be responsible for investments and acquisitions in third-party brands, promoting Next’s Total Platform to new clients, boosting the sale of third-party fashion brands online, and overseeing the wholesale, franchising and licensing of Next=branded stock.

The promotion of Stakol, who has been at Next since its 2008 acquisition of Lipsy, where he was managing director, comes as Next and rivals such as Marks & Spencer increasingly seek to buy or team up with third-party brands and build their online operations.

Next has recently acquired Joules and, and has stakes in businesses such as Reiss, Gap and Victoria’s Secret. Next said Stakol had “successfully led many of the recent new investment deals”. His appointment is seen as a signal that more tie-ups and deals are likely.

M&S broke with tradition when it began to sell complementary third-party brands such as White Stuff, Fat Face and Dune, primarily online. It also acquired the Jaeger brand. M&S recently hired Amazon fashion general manager Nishi Mahajan as director of third-party brands.

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