Press releases

John Lewis announces Trading Director appointment and newly created Partnership Strategy role

Wednesday 13 December 2017
  • Simon Coble appointed as John Lewis Trading Director

  • Ed Connolly to take up the newly created role of Director, Partnership Strategy

John Lewis is delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Coble to the role of Trading Director. Simon will take up the position on 15 January 2018 and will join the John Lewis Management Board (JLMB), reporting to Managing Director Paula Nickolds.

Simon joins from The Body Shop, where he was Managing Director UK, extending his responsibilities to Europe and North America since the end of 2016. He is currently Zone Managing Director for Europe and part of The Body Shop Board. Prior to this he was Chief Executive at Uniqlo for five years and spent 13 years with Arcadia working across a number of brands.

Simon will take on the leadership of the Trading team, including responsibility for our Buying and Merchandising teams, where he will be focused on delivering exceptional products and services.

Paula Nickolds, Managing Director, John Lewis said: 'I am really delighted that Simon will be joining us. It is an important appointment for us as we continue to reinvent John Lewis and put the customer at the heart of everything we do from the design of our truly unique own brand ranges to the experiences we offer our customers that they cannot get anywhere else. We look forward to welcoming him to the team.'

Simon said: 'It's a privilege to be joining this unique organisation at such a pivotal time and I am excited at the opportunities that lie ahead.  John Lewis is such a special brand and I am looking forward to being part of the team that helps shape its future commercial success in the competitive conditions currently facing modern retailing.'

Ed Connolly, who has been leading the Trading function, on an interim basis while a recruitment process took place, will take up a newly created role of Director, Partnership Strategy reporting to Patrick Lewis, Group Finance Director. In this new role, Ed will be responsible for shaping and developing the long term direction and sustainability of the Partnership, working directly with the Executive Team.

Prior to this, Ed was Buying Director, Fashion for three years where he led the transformation of John Lewis own brand ranges including launching modern rarity and AND/OR.

Paula Nickolds said: 'I would like to thank Ed for his outstanding contribution during his time leading the Trading team, especially in the run up to our peak trading period and I wish him all the best in his new role.'

Notes to editors

John Lewis - John Lewis operates 49 John Lewis shops across the UK (35 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as John Lewis,  'Best In-Store Experience 2017', 'Best Furniture Retailer 2017,' 'Best Homewares Retailer 2017'1, stocks around 350,000 separate lines in its department stores and across fashion, home and technology. is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK.  John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products - home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover - delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

1Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2017

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For more information please contact:

Gillian Taylor, Head of Communications
Mobile: 07919 057931
Telephone: 0207 5925635

Katie Robson, Senior External Communications Manager, John Lewis
Mobile: 07764 675608
Telephone: 0207 5926296