M&S appoints marketing director for clothing as Nathan Ansell exits

Anna Braithwaite joins from Tesco.

Marks & Spencer: Braithwaite and Ansell
Marks & Spencer: Braithwaite and Ansell

Marks & Spencer has named its next director of clothing and home marketing as the retailer plots a rebound from the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Anna Braithwaite will join M&S this summer from Tesco, where she is global brand director for non-food, and leads on sustainability. She joined Tesco in 2017 as head of brand marketing for clothing brand F&F, and previously spent 12 years in a series of marketing roles at John Lewis. 

Braithwaite replaces Nathan Ansell, who is leaving after more than nine years for an as-yet unspecified opportunity.

Ansell joined M&S as head of brand after stints at Heinz and Birds Eye. In 2015, he was appointed as director of customer loyalty, and in early 2018, was placed in charge of marketing for the retailer’s clothing and home division – shortly before the former top marketer Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne departed when his role was abolished.

He told Campaign: "M&S is an amazing brand – with loyal, passionate customers and incredible colleagues. I’m proud of the work my brilliant teams have delivered over the last nine years both in terms of the creative and in how we’ve innovated to reach our customers in new and engaging ways.”

Alongside Braithwaite, M&S has hired Fiona Lambert as managing director of Jaeger, the fashion brand it bought out of administration last month. Lambert has previously worked at Next, Asda, Dunelm and River Island.

The appointments come at a time when the clothing and home business, like most non-food retailers, is dealing with the severe impact from Covid regulations. In the three months up to Christmas, its sales were down 24.1%, like for like. During the English national lockdown in November, they fell 40.5%.

Richard Price, clothing and home managing director at M&S, said Braithwaite and Lambert would play key roles in the retailer’s strategic programme “Never the same again”.

“Our Never the Same Again programme is about being more relevant, more often to our customers,” he explained. “Showing up as a brand with energy, confidence and style is crucial to this and so I’m delighted Anna Braithwaite is joining to lead how we talk to our millions of customers across the UK, however they choose to shop with us. 

“Alongside this, as we turbo-charge our online proposition with new brands, we’re committed to reinvigorating Jaeger whilst retaining its much-loved brand heritage – and we’ll do this through a dedicated team led by Fiona Lambert, who is experienced in transforming clothing brands.”

Price added: “Nathan Ansell will be leaving us to take up a new opportunity outside of M&S, and I would like to thank him for his hard work and commitment to our business.”

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