Marks and Spencer M&S Sparks on an ipad

Source: M&S

Gemma Lumsden has been recruited as part of M&S’s digital-first transformation programme

M&S has poached Next’s former head of digital trading to fill its newly created role of head of optimisation and analytics.

The retailer has hired Gemma Lumsden to lead its analytics, website optimisation and SEO teams to ensure customers experience a “cohesive and consistent” website. Her recruitment comes as part of M&S’s push to become a digital-first business.

Lumsden brings experience from retailers such as Holland & Barrett, where she worked for three years as head of digital trading and development and head of digital trading, after spending four years at George at Asda as digital customer experience manager followed by ecommerce manager, migration. She was also online clothing category manager at Blacks Leisure Group for over two years.

Lumsden will report to M& director Stephen Langford who joined the company in May. M&S told the Grocer Langford is currently “strengthening” his team, which includes this new appointment.

“With the trend towards digital accelerated, it is critical we turbocharge M& through both a strengthened and engaged in-house team and by working with the very best external partners,” Langford said. “Gemma brings true digital expertise and great retail experience and this new role represents our absolute commitment to improving the customer experience on our website and ultimately driving growth.”

M&S’s Never the Same Again transformation programme is aiming to push its digital growth, and has already seen it partner with digital content provider Quill to rewrite product descriptions for its entire online non-food range over the next two years.