John Lewis hires Kathleen Mitchell as new trading director

A retail report by John Lewis on shopping trends for the past year says shoppers ‘couldn’t get enough of slippers’.
"People have become clearer about what matters to them and their work-life balance has shifted towards life.” : Pippa Wickes.
// Kathleen Mitchell named new trading director for John Lewis
// She has been MD at Accessorize since October last year
// She was hired on back of her track record in successfully turning around Accessorize.

John Lewis has appointed Kathleen Mitchell to take on the role of trading director, starting from mid-September.

According to Retail Week, John Lewis raided the senior ranks of Accessorize to poach Mitchell, where she has been managing director since October last year and was branding director before that for three years.

At John Lewis, Mitchell’s remit will reportedly have a focus on reinvigorating the department store chain, leading its strategy across home, fashion, beauty, and electricals in-store and online as part of a wider turnaround scheme.


Mitchell was reportedly hired on back of her track record in successfully turning around Accessorize.

She also has experience in marketing and management roles ay L’Oréal and is a former managing director of fashion tech start-up Stella & Dot.

“Kathleen brings a huge amount of experience in modernising retail brands which will help support the turnaround of our John Lewis business,” John Lewis executive director Pippa Wicks told Retail Week.

“She will lead our trading strategy across all categories, ensuring that we continue to inspire and delight our customers.”

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  1. It’s hard keeping up with the constant changes at JLP. Here we are with yet another management appointment to make up for the lack of retail expertise at the very top.
    Not sure this is so good a match as is being made out. The only winners seem to be the retail recruitment consultancies. Meanwhile at the sharp end the redundancy programme for sales floor / store support partners continues.

  2. JLP have lost a lot of the things that make it different. The visible decline is quite apparent in my local store.

  3. I’ll sways up there with customer service. Not these days. You are completely ignored no ‘are you looking something in particular.. are you happy browsing.. etc.. it’s just a greeting but so important. I’ve been in retail a very very long time and still am . Customer training a must ..

  4. Have to agree with other commentators that JL visits are disappointing and Waitrose are not good either. I no longer shop at Waitrose since first lock down preferring Tesco instead.

    JL has a lack of merchandise and store visits are now too far for me having shut my local store which was busy in both Ashford and Tunbridge Wells.

    Would love JL to open in place of Fenwick in Canterbury but it won’t happen.

    Still I can look forward to Poundland opening in my ex Marks and Spencer store very soon leaving up the former Woolworths as an empty store.


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