John Lewis

Instilling a trading mindset to deliver LFL sales growth and improve Stock Turn.

As the Merchandising Operations Director for John Lewis, I led a team of 180 in merchandising across 50 Buying Departments. After the 2008 recession, it was critical to build a trading mindset that capitalised on growth opportunities within an overall plan. I put in place a rule that stock could only grow at half the rate of sales to focus on better use of stock and improving stock turn. I developed the capability of the team, bolstering it with external hires and putting in place a succession plan, championing talent.

Through monthly business reviews with all Buying Directors and Heads of Buying and Merchandising, I was able to spot opportunities and move OTB and Markdown spend to maximise the business performance.

All divisions delivered market-leading growth and overall stock turn improved by 0.1.

“Sarah worked for me for 2 years at John Lewis as a key member of the leadership team that was driving challenging commercial change in Buying and Merchandising. Her approach was always commercial and results driven and she used her wide range of experience to great effect and produced impressive results. She is insightful and pragmatic and understands well how to motivate teams to deliver change. She is a strong team player and is caring and thoughtful which made her highly respected as an individual.
I have no hesitation in recommending Sarah who will be an asset to any business she with whom she works.”
Jill Little
Ex Merchandise and Brand Director - John Lewis

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