// John Lewis has appointed former George at Asda vice president Zoe Matthews as product & lifestyle director (Fashion & Home)
// Matthews was previously fashion director at The Very Group and prior to that director at Gap’s European business
John Lewis has appointed Zoe Matthews, former George at Asda vice president as product & lifestyle director (fashion & home) at the department store retailer.
Matthews, who announced the news on Linkedin, stepped down from Asda back in December as she did not want to take on the new George vice president role that managing director Liz Evans introduced as part of her new business structure, according to an internal memo seen by Retail Gazette.
Matthews was previously fashion director at The Very Group and was buying director at Gap’s European businesss prior to that.
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This week, the John Lewis Partnership revealed it had swung to a £99 million loss in its first half of the year as “unprecedented cost inflation” across grocery and general merchandise took its toll.
This time last year, the retail group made a £69 million profit.
Although John Lewis sales were up 3% at £2.1 billion in the 26 weeks to 30 July, Waitrose like-for-like sales dropped by 5%, and its operating profit fell by £93 million due to inflationary pressures.
In response to soaring inflation, John Lewis Partnership will pay its full-time staff a one-off cost-of-living support payment of £500.
This is on top of its giving partners free food from 3 October to 6 January.
John Lewis said its partners are “the lifeblood of the business” and had doubled financial assistance to £800,000 for those facing hardship.
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