sainsbury's james brown

James Brown has built up the Sainsbury’s Tu clothing brand

Sainsbury’s Argos has promoted James Brown to head up its commercial team as Robbie Feather jumps ship to Fenwick.

Clothing guru Brown, who currently leads the commercial team alongside Feather, will become head of the department in the new year.

Online specialist Feather will leave to become CEO at Fenwick, which has nine department stores and relaunched its online operation in 2014.

Until now, Brown and Feather have both held the title of commercial director. While Brown has looked after the Sainsbury’s GM business, Feather has led the Argos commercial strategy.

Sainsbury’s Argos CEO John Rogers said it had “always been my intention to bring together the commercial leadership under one commercial director”.

“As we have now got the experience under our belt of trading together for a year; have a better understanding of the commercial operations of both businesses; and as we approach the autumn-winter 2018 buying season, now is the right time to do this,” Rogers said.

Brown has been instrumental in developing Sainsbury’s GM business, in particular its growing clothing division. Having worked at Marks & Spencer, Matalan and Shop Direct, Brown set out to position Sainsbury’s Tu as “high street style at supermarket prices”. Most recently, Brown has led the launch of premium Tu collections for men and women that look to undercut high-end retailers, with pieces such as a British wool three-piece suit for £160.

Rogers said this expertise, coupled with his “strong understanding of the Argos business”, made Brown “ideally positioned” to lead the commercial team.

The CEO also thanked Feather, who managed Sainsbury’s GM and entertainment business and was director of online for two years, for his contribution to the team.

“I would like to thank Robbie for not only steering the Argos commercial team through this critical period and ensuring we continued to outperform the market in what has been a difficult trading environment, but also for his huge contribution to the Sainsbury’s business over the last six years,” Rogers said.

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