Argos owner Home Retail appoints new head of trends

Home Retail Group, the parent company of Argos, Habitat and Homebase, has made two key appointments amid wider reshuffles among senior management.

Home Retail Group: new hires for own brand and product development
Home Retail Group: new hires for own brand and product development

Ex-Johnson & Johnson marketer Alyson Lockley will become head of own brand for Argos, leading the development of in-house brands such as Chad Valley and new homeware range Heart of House.

Meanwhile, Alexei Cowan has become the new head of trends, overseeing product and trend development across the group.

Lockley was formerly senior marketing director for Johnson’s Baby brand in the EMEA region, with prior own brand experience with Boots’ 17 and Botanics and as a senior marketer at Pfizer, Virgin and L’Oreal. She will oversee a team of 10 at Argos and report to marketing director Stephen Vowles.

Vowles said: "Alyson joins us at a really exciting time for our own brand team, and one of her first priorities will be to oversee the exciting launch campaign for our new furniture and homewares power brand, Heart of House."

Argos only created the head of own brands position last year, hiring ex-Nokia marketer Joanne Savage to the role in May 2013. A spokeswoman for Home Retail said Savage had left Argos "several months ago", and it isn't clear whether she has taken up a new role elsewhere.

Alexei Cowan took up her role in June to add some design sparkle across Home Retail’s three brands, with a background in furniture design and prior experience at Heals, M&S, Laura Ashley and Debenhams. She reports to Maria Thompson, group commercial and supply chain director.

She joins Argos from Next, where she spent more than seven years as senior designer for lighting, bathroom and homeware.

The moves follow the promotion of John Walden to chief executive in January, and a wider management restructure.