Arcadia property boss leaves to join John Lewis
Arcadia’s loss is John Lewis’s gain. The fashion retail giant controlled by Sir Philip Green has lost its property and procurement director - the man with ultimate responsibility for its 3,000 stores globally - to employee-owned John Lewis.
In his new role, Chris Harris will be group property director for the firm’s estate that includes its John Lewis department stores and its larger Waitrose supermarket and convenience store chain.
It will be a big change for Harris who may have been a board member at Topshop and Dorothy Perkins owner Arcadia, but where ultimate control rested with Philip Green.
At John Lewis, by contrast, all staff are ‘partners’ and get a share of the firm’s profits.
He has quite a while to get used to the idea of the change though as he doesn’t join until March 2018. When he does join, he will report into the group’s finance chief Patrick Lewis.
Harris has been responsible for overseeing the closure of unprofitable stores owned by Arcadia but is unlikely to be doing too much of that at John Lewis. While the company has not been immune to the slowdown in UK retailing, overall its two chains are doing well, with the John Lewis stores buoyed by a strengthening of their fashion offer in recent seasons.
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