Peacocks has appointed former Faith managing director Steven Swaby as head of buying for footwear and accessories. Swaby, who has also worked at Dune, River Island and Arcadia, will report to Sarah O’Shea, buying director of menswear, childrenswear, footwear and accessories, when he joins on June 15.
Footwear is a lucrative area for value fashion retailers, as specialist footwear players are dwindling. The sector is dominated by New Look at present.
Peacocks has also poached New Look head of buying Claire Brimblecombe as head of buying for womenswear. She will report to Jane Hotz, buying director for womenswear and basics. Brimblecombe has previously worked as buying manager at Dorothy Perkins, and before that was head of buying at Arcadia. She will join on June 29.
Peacocks managing director Tim Bettley said: “These two appointments build on the strength of our team so that together we can continue to grow the business.”
Peacocks has defied the downturn, reporting 8 per cent sales growth in the 14 weeks to March 28. It plans to open 50 stores in the UK within two years.
Meanwhile, Will Kernan has been promoted to group managing director at New Look, with responsibility for markets in which the retailer operates company-owned stores. Formerly managing director for UK and Ireland, Kernan will drive the group’s trading strategy across all “owned markets” – the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium and Holland.
New Look International managing director Michael Lemner will continue to develop new markets and remains responsible for the retailer’s French fascia Mim and for markets in which the retailer uses the franchise model, which include UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Kernan said: “This move will allow New Look to more effectively provide a consistent group operating framework, while further supporting local trading needs as we pursue our store roll-out both domestically and internationally.”
The restructure is part of New Look’s plans to become a global value fashion retailer and generate 20 per cent of sales and profits outside the UK within five years.