Sainsbury’s has raided Littlewoods and John Lewis for two key roles in its clothing and general merchandise teams.

James Brown, formerly trading director clothing, footwear, home and furniture for Littlewoods has joined as business unit director, clothing.

Robbie Feather has been appointed as business unit director, general merchandise. He joins from John Lewis where he is buying director, electricals and home technology.

An overall managing director of non-food will be appointed in the near future, to replace Luke Jensen who earlier today was promoted to take over some of Darren Shapland’s responsibilities. Shapland is quitting the retailer to pursue personal interests.

Brown was also formerly at Matalan and Marks & Spencer. He will have responsibility for Tu, which is now ranked seventh in the UK by volume across all clothing, footwear and accessories.

Feather was formerly managing director of furniture retailer Feather & Black. He will have responsibility for all of Sainsbury’s general merchandise, a  key area of its non-food growth.

Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s group commercial director said: “I am delighted to welcome James and Robbie to Sainsbury’s. They bring a wealth of experience and have worked for some of the UK’s most successful retailers.

“I am sure they will make great additions to our team and will play a key role as we continue with our exciting expansion plans for non-food.”

Brown said: “Recent industry data has shown that Tu clothing has gone from strength to

strength over the last few years and I look forward to helping to continue this growth.”

Feather said: “The growth of Sainsbury’s non-food business is well documented and it is playing an increasing role in Sainsbury’s continued success. I look forward to developing the range even further and helping build upon the excellent work that the current team have done to date.”