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Shop Direct appoints new group trading director

Lauretta Roberts
17 July 2019

Online shopping giant Shop Direct has appointed Guy Farmer, the current vice president and global retail own brand director at Walgreens Boots Alliance, as group trading director.

Farmer will join the parent company of Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com in September after serving eight years with Boots. Prior to his current role he also held the positions of global director for Boots cosmetics brands, trading director for healthcare & lifestyle, and trading director for beauty.

Before joining Boots he spent 13 years at L’Oréal, progressing from marketing director to managing director and country manager for Portugal, following six years in brand and category management positions at Procter & Gamble.

In his new role he will report to Shop Direct's managing director, retail Sam Perkins and will work with category directors and the director of the company’s global sourcing operation to oversee multifunctional teams including buying, merchandising, design, sourcing, data intelligence, finance and trading.

The amalgamation of these previously separate functions into category teams represents a new approach to the end-to-end customer experience and supply chain at Shop Direct. It began last year with the appointment of fashion, home, electrical and developing category directors and is generating strong results, it said, including a successful peak period which saw group revenue up 3.7% year-on-year for the seven weeks up to and including 28 December 2018.

Shop Direct’s retail team has also consolidated marketing activity under the position of chief marketing officer (CMO). Carly O’Brien, who joined the business in early 2019 and has been interim CMO since April, will take over the role permanently.

Managing director, retail Sam Perkins said: “Guy’s and Carly’s expertise will allow us to make big steps forward in our mission to give customers the best products and online journey, whilst helping them spread the cost.

“Guy’s outstanding trading and product experience means he’s ideally placed to cement our category management approach and even further improve the speed and quality of our commercial and customer decisions. Carly is already an integral part of the team and will use her marketing expertise to bring us closer to our customers through data and enable them to connect with our retail brands in new ways.”


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