Jan 30, 2020
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Retail group N Brown makes key executive hires

Jan 30, 2020

Manchester-based fashion retail group N Brown has announced changes to its executive management team with the appointment of two new members.


Sarah Welsh has been poached from Oasis to be the new CEO of N Brown’s retail unit. She joins the company this Thursday, and will report directly to Group CEO Steve Johnson. The newly created role involves overseeing all aspects of product including buying, merchandising, design, fit, trading, sourcing and partnerships.

As such, Welsh will be responsible for the retail operations of the group’s three core brands, JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, drawing from her experience at Oasis, where she was most recently managing director.

Commenting on her appointment, CEO Steve Johnson said: “Sarah joins N Brown at an exciting time as we continue with our strategy to deliver sustainable, profitable growth. She brings a wealth of relevant experience, not least in building strong and empowered teams to develop brand propositions. Her experience will be important in further improving and developing our product offering to continue making our customers look and feel amazing.”

Also joining N Brown is Rachel Izzard. She has been named as the new chief financial officer, replacing Craig Lovelace, who is leaving to take up a new position.

Izzard has been CFO at Aer Lingus since 2015. A departure date for Lovelace has not yet been agreed, so Izzard’s start date will be confirmed in due course.

The appointments come at a crucial time for N Brown as it engineers a return to profitable growth in its retail business. In the 18 weeks to 4 January, product revenue fell 4%, continuing a trend seen throughout the past year. In order to focus on the UK market, the group has recently closed its international division and closed all stores.

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