John Lewis buying director of fashion Peter Ruis has been promoted to buying and brand director.

Ruis, who is credited with driving John Lewis’s strong performance in fashion since he took up the role in June 2007, will take up the newly-created role in August.

The board level role will focus on the buying operation, customer proposition and marketing.

Merchandise director Jill Little is to step down from her current role at the same time.

Little, who has been at the business for 33 years, will take up the role of strategy director until she leaves the chain in March next year.

Ruis said: “This is an enormously exciting time for me and for the business. I look forward to building on what Jill has achieved and taking the John Lewis brand forward with new initiatives coupled with a future proposition dedicated even more to predicting and meeting all our customers’ requirements.” 

Little said: “I am delighted that Peter will be taking on the buying and brand director role. His new remit represents a huge step forward for the business. Personally I am looking forward to the challenges of strategy director and the role it will have in shaping John Lewis’ future”.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street added: “Jill has made an enormous contribution to our business over the last 33 years. It is hard to encapsulate all she has done for the John Lewis operation but the market share we have gained while she has been merchandise director, as well as the current success of our recent advertising, coupled with clear growth in our business all speak volumes about the debt we owe to Jill.”