Sainsbury’s has appointed former John Lewis MD Paula Nickolds to its operating board to manage its £7.8b general merchandise and clothing business, including Sainsbury's general merchandise, Argos, Habitat and Tu brands.
Paula, who will join the business in June, worked at the John Lewis Partnership for 25 years, joining John Lewis as a graduate trainee and working in product, buying, brand and commercial before becoming MD in 2017 until January last year.
Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s chief executive, says: “I am delighted that Paula is joining us, she is a highly respected, talented and experienced retail leader. I am certain that under her leadership, our brands that deliver - Argos, Habitat and Tu - will continue to delight our customers and support everything we are doing in food. Paula brings deep experience in product, brands and commercial leadership and she has a passion for understanding and delivering for customers. We are all looking forward to her joining our team.”
Paula comments: “I’m excited to be joining Sainsbury’s. It is a retailer with fantastic heritage that is trusted by customers for its great combination of quality and value. It’s an important and dynamic time for the retail sector and I am thrilled to join the team for the next phase of growth and innovation, as well as the opportunity to make a difference to millions of customers’ lives through the much-loved Argos, Habitat and Tu brands.”
Paula takes over from Mike Luck as general merchandise and clothing commercial director. Mike will stay with the business until mid-July to ensure a smooth handover.
Commenting on Mike’s decision to leave, Simon adds: “I am really grateful to Mike for leading general merchandise and clothing at such a crucial time for the business as we were planning and launching our new strategy. In that time Mike and his team have successfully relaunched Habitat and developed the plan for our next phase of growth, changed our ways of working to deliver a lower cost base across our global commercial team and significantly grown sales in Argos. I would also like to thank him for everything he has achieved over the past 18 years.”