Lifestyle retailer Joules has made a raft of key board-level appointments to drive its ambitious growth plans and focus its strategy on a design-led offer.

Louise Barnes, former chief executive of Fat Face and current chairman of womenswear brand Fenn Wright Manson, will join Joules in mid-January as chairman, as predicted by Retail Week (August 20). Prior to working at Fat Face, Barnes was the brand director of Monsoon.

Joules has also appointed Colin Porter to the newly created role of chief operating officer, reporting to chief executive Tom Joule. Porter was previously joint managing director of luxury menswear brand Crombie and prior to that commercial director of House of Fraser.

The business has hired Blacks director of clothing Kara Groves as merchandising and supply chain director - a newly created board level role. She will join on January 4 and head investment and strategy across merchandising, sourcing and supply chain operations.

Jack Wills head of design Lynsey Scott will join as creative director at the end of December and will report to Chloe Ward, who has been promoted to brand director as a result.

Joule said the appointments would provide the business with the necessary experience to grow all channels, including online, wholesale, retail and overseas, after growing from a £1m turnover business nine years ago to a business pushing £65m in sales in the current financial year.

Joules, which launched in 1994, has 40 standalone UK stores. Expansion will form a key part of its growth plans. It has opened 12 stores this year and three in the past fortnight including one in London’s Covent Garden.