Sainsbury’s has announced the appointment of former John Lewis managing director Paula Nikolds as general merchandise and clothing commercial director.
In her new role, Nikolds will be responsible for the commercial success of Sainsbury’s £7.8 billion general merchandise and clothing business which includes Sainsbury’s general merchandise, Argos, Habitat and Tu clothing.
She will join the retailer in June and will sit on its operating board.
Nikolds worked at John Lewis for 25 years, starting off as a graduate trainee before working in product, buying, brand and commercial.
She was appointed managing director of the partnership’s eponymous department store chain in 2017 and exited the business in January last year.
Nikolds succeeds Mikle Luke, who has been with the Big 4 retailer for over 18 years, having joined on a graduate scheme.
During his tenure as general merchandise and clothing commercial director, Luck successfully relaunched Habitat and developed a plan for the next phase of growth, delivered a lower cost base across the retailer’s global commercial team, and significantly grew sales in Argos.
“I am delighted that Paula is joining us, she is a highly respected, talented and experienced retail leader,” Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts said.
“I am certain that under her leadership, our brands that deliver – Argos, Habitat and Tu – will continue to delight our customers and support everything we are doing in food.
“Paula brings deep experience in product, brands and commercial leadership and she has a passion for understanding and delivering for customers. We are all looking forward to her joining our team.”
Nickolds added: “I’m excited to be joining Sainsbury’s. It is a retailer with a fantastic heritage that is trusted by customers for its great combination of quality and value.
“It’s an important and dynamic time for the retail sector and I am thrilled to join the team for the next phase of growth and innovation, as well as the opportunity to make a difference to millions of customers’ lives through the much-loved Argos, Habitat and Tu brands.”
Luke will remain with Sainsbury’s until mid-July to ensure a smooth handover with Nickolds.