John Lewis ramps up omnichannel efforts with boardroom shuffle

John Lewis has made a number of senior director changes which will help the retailer improve the customer experience of the omnichannel journey.

Online director, Mark Lewis, has been promoted to retail director which will see him taking responsibility for both shop and online operations.

The retailer said: "The move will allow John Lewis to accelerate the full integration of its channels and lead the next generation of omnichannel retail."

Existing retail director, Andrew Murphy, who joined the company in 1992, will take on the newly created role of group productivity director.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, The Partnership's chairman, said: "The rapid rate of change in retail is set to continue and therefore the time is right for us to develop the thinking that will help sustain the Partnership in the next generation and I am delighted that Andrew has agreed to take up this new role. His appointment is part of the plans we are putting in place to deliver the Partnership's strategy in the next five years and follows the announcement of Tom Athron's appointment as group development director in June 2015."

Customer director

Meanwhile, Craig Inglis will step into the newly created role of customer director responsible for end-to-end customer experience, which he will take on alongside his current role of leading marketing and customer insight.

In addition, operations director, Dino Rocos, will also take on additional responsibilities for the omnichannel customer journey, and Paula Nickolds, buying and brand director at John Lewis, will become commercial director.

Andy Street, managing director John Lewis added: "These important changes to the John Lewis management board place the customer at the heart of our decision making. The new John Lewis board composition will ensure we continue to lead omnichannel retailing in the UK."

Reshuffle analysis

Kate Latham, managing director of retail, leisure and consumer practices at recruitment firm Norman Broadbent, said she is seeing more and more retailers reshuffle their organisations in order to create a 'seamless customer experience' across their channels.

"For those retailers well advanced in the omnichannel journey, it makes sense to have one person responsible for all channels. This will eventually make the role of 'omnichannel director' obsolete and instead a new retail director position is being created. 

"Due to the way retailers have been traditionally structured, there is rarely one person with the breadth of experience to take on these roles. In response, we are seeing retailers trialling structures, sometimes appointing to the role a highly experienced retail operator, as with Tesco UK, or an online expert, seen from John Lewis and M&S."

She added: "The challenge for retailers now is to ensure capable talent is coming up through the organisation with the breadth of experience and agility of thinking to head up these much broader functions."

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