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Shop Direct hires former Jack Wills chief product officer to head up fashion

Lauretta Roberts
25 June 2018

E-commerce giant Shop Direct has appointed former Jack Wills chief product officer Emma Alexander as fashion director to head up its branded and own brand clothing and footwear offerings.

Alexander, who headed up a 75-strong product team while at Jack Wills, joins the operator of the and businesses on 9 July. She will report to group product director and executive board member, Sam Perkins.

“Emma is an exceptional fashion leader who’s consistently shown she knows her customer and the industry inside out. She builds great relationships and delivers commercial results, both in branded and own brand fashion," said Perkins.

“She’s the perfect person to lead our clothing and footwear teams through the next phase of our transformation, as we continue to hone our portfolio of outstanding brands around our customer and build on the early success of V by Very,” Perkins added.

Prior to Jack Wills, Alexander was brand director at USC and before that spent four years at Marks & Spencer in senior fashion roles, including head of buying for men’s formalwear, footwear and accessories, and head of buying for the Per Una and Limited Collection brands in womenswear. Her experience also spans positions with Jaeger and River Island.

At Shop Direct, Alexander will oversee all fashion buying and design, focusing on further strengthening the clothing and footwear category that makes up 34% of the group’s retail sales. The role will include developing the business’ brand portfolio, which spans popular high street names like River Island and Mango, and premium labels, such as Hugo Boss and Armani. She will also be charged with driving the business’ sportswear offering.

In addition she will be charged with the ongoing development of Shop Direct’s own label, V by Very, which it says 45% of its customers have purchased. Launched in September 2016 and spanning menswear, womenswear and childrenswear, V by Very is the group’s most popular brand, making up 10% of all retail sales.

“Shop Direct has grown into one of the biggest, most innovative and most ambitious UK pureplay etailers, with a fashion offering to match. In recent years it’s transformed its portfolio with a wealth of outstanding brands, and built an inspirational own label that’s been a hit with customers thanks to strong design, value and quality.

“I want to continue the group’s fashion trajectory by delivering the brands our customers crave and taking V by Very even further – making it a household name. I can’t wait to link up with the team and get going,” Alexander said.

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