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John Lewis’ Craig Inglis promoted to customer director in senior shakeup

John Lewis has scrapped its marketing director role and become the latest in a line of brands to have created the 'customer director' as it tries to get a handle on the end-to-end consumer experience.

Marketing director, Craig Inglis - who has served at John Lewis for the past seven years – will take on the role with an expanded remit to cover the whole customer experience alongside his previous marketing and customer insight duties.

The promotion of Inglis indicates John Lewis’ intention to better connect its digital services and communicate them to its customers, putting him at the centre of product, experience and marketing.

Managing director at John Lewis Andy Street, said the changes “place the customer at the heart of our decision making”.

“The new John Lewis Board composition will ensure we continue to lead omnichannel retailing in the UK,” he added.

Asda, Tesco, Vue Cinemas and Gumtree are just some of the brands to instate a customer director or chief customer officer in the past year in an effort to achieve a more joined-up approach, beyond marketing, to the wider customer experience.

While John Lewis has seen success with its marketing efforts, it has been trying to improve the in-store proposition for some time. In addition to new concepts such as Found – which launched last month – the retailer has been looking at how it can introduce more digital elements to its bricks and mortar stores, such as a beacon-enabled click and collect system.

In addition to Inglis’ move, current retail director Andrew Murphy has been appointed to the newly created role of group productivity director with Mark Lewis – currently online director – set to replace him.

Finally, buying and brand director Paula Nickolds will head up John Lewsi' commercial offering and lead the development of the retailer's proposition of the future including new store formats.

“'The rapid rate of change in retail is set to continue and therefore the time is right for us to develop the thinking that will help sustain the Partnership in the next generation,” said chairman Charlie Mayfield.