John Lewis has confirmed that Susanne Given will be buying director of fashion when she joins the department store chain.

The surprise appointment will see Given fill the role left vacant by Peter Ruis when he was promoted from buying director of fashion to buying and brand director in May last year. She will join John Lewis on February 8 and report directly to him.

Ruis said: “Her appointment is indicative of the strength and ambition we maintain in what has been our fastest growing area. She will evolve and develop our premium brand strategy as we look to continue actively to grow market share within the UK.”

Given was previously managing director at TK Maxx, merchandise director at harrods“>Harrods and has held senior buying positions at House of Fraser and Sainsbury’s.