John Lewis has announced the appointment of Simon Coble to the role of trading director. Simon will take up the position on 15th January 2018 and will join the John Lewis Management Board, reporting to MD Paula Nickolds.

Simon joins from The Body Shop, where he was MD for the UK, extending his responsibilities to Europe and North America since the end of 2016. He is currently Zone MD for Europe and part of The Body Shop Board. Prior to this he was chief executive at Uniqlo for five years and spent 13 years with Arcadia working across a number of brands.

Simon will take on the leadership of the trading team, including responsibility for John Lewis' buying and merchandising teams, where he will be focused on delivering exceptional products and services.

Paula Nickolds says: "I am really delighted that Simon will be joining us. It is an important appointment for us as we continue to reinvent John Lewis and put the customer at the heart of everything we do from the design of our truly unique own brand ranges to the experiences we offer our customers that they cannot get anywhere else. We look forward to welcoming him to the team."

Simon says: "It's a privilege to be joining this unique organisation at such a pivotal time and I am excited at the opportunities that lie ahead.  John Lewis is such a special brand and I am looking forward to being part of the team that helps shape its future commercial success in the competitive conditions currently facing modern retailing."

Ed Connolly, who has been leading the trading function, on an interim basis while a recruitment process took place, will take up a newly created role of director, Partnership Strategy, reporting to Patrick Lewis, group finance director. In this new role, Ed will be responsible for shaping and developing the long term direction and sustainability of the Partnership, working directly with the executive team.

Prior to this, Ed was buying director of fashion for three years where he led the transformation of John Lewis own brand ranges including launching modern rarity and AND/OR.

Paula continues: "I would like to thank Ed for his outstanding contribution during his time leading the trading team, especially in the run up to our peak trading period and I wish him all the best in his new role."