John Lewis has appointed Susanne Given, the former managing director of TK Maxx in the UK and Republic of Ireland, to a senior product or fashion role at the department store chain.

It is understood that Given will report in to buying and brand director Peter Ruis, who was promoted from the role of buying director of fashion in May last year, leaving the role vacant.

Given, who has also worked at Harrods, left TJX Europe, the parent company of TK Maxx, in February 2010, after five years at the off-price retailer.

Last Friday John Lewis said sales dropped 2.2% over the week to January 22 after coming up against strong comparatives in the same week in January 2009 when there was a surge in demand after two weeks of heavy snow.

The chain said that it would end its financial year – which ends this week – with a “strong double-digit increase” in sales.