People

White Stuff creates multi-channel director role

by Danielle Wightman-Stone
5 Aug 2019

British fashion and lifestyle retailer White Stuff has appointed Toby Milton to the newly created role of multi-channel director, with effect from October 2019.

The appointment comes as White Stuff looks to group all its sales channels under one position as part of the brand’s continued business transformation and drive for increased customer focus.

Milton will join from The Body Shop, where he currently serves as managing director (North America) with responsibility for all activities through stores, e-commerce, as well as other channels, and will become a “key member” of White Stuff’s executive team.

He will be accountable for delivering a “consistent customer experience and trading stance” across all White Stuff customer touchpoints, which include shops, online, wholesale and market places, added the retailer.

Prior to his stint in North America, Milton was general manager of the Benelux countries, and his six years at The Body Shop follow over a decade in consumer goods sales at L’Oreal.

Commenting on his appointment, Milton said in a statement: “This is an exciting time to join the brand as they continue their business transformation. They have a terrific leadership team, and I’m delighted to be joining them to help lead the White Stuff brand through its next stage of growth and success.”

Jo Jenkins, chief executive at White Stuff, added: “We are committed to delivering amazing customer experiences no matter how they choose to shop. Toby’s extensive multi-channel experience, and proven track record of growing international brands, will allow us to do this to the very highest standard. We’re looking forward to having him on board.”

White Stuff adds to executive team as sales return to growth

The appointment follows the retailers latest results that show the company achieved total sales growth of 2.6 percent to return to sales growth for the financial year ending April 27, 2019, following a total sales decline of 6.2 percent for the year ending April 2018.

Digital growth has been strong with online sales up by 8 percent, compared to last year, and now online sales account for 32 percent of total sales. Retail sales were down slightly by 0.2 percent, however, wholesale increasing by 4.3 percent.

The British brand also capitalised on its international appeal with non-UK sales increasing by 28.3 percent.

Commenting on the financial results, Jenkins, said: “In a tough retail climate, we have focused on core trading principles, which have allowed us to end the year with positive sales and reduced levels of stock in the business.

“As we look to the future, we are investing in our people and systems to give us a strong platform for growth. The leadership team is in place to accelerate our transformation, ensuring we create a positively differentiated experience for customers in all that we do. We remain cautious about the outlook given the uncertainty of the Brexit outcome and we continue to manage the business tightly, to respond to the market changes, driving growth online and internationally.”

Founded in 1985, White Stuff is a multichannel fashion and lifestyle brand with 132 shops and 44 concessions within John Lewis and other independents in the UK. Internationally, there are 8 shops and 11 concessions in Germany, as well as 7 concessions in Belgium. The company also has 290 UK and 310 International wholesale stockists.

Image: courtesy of White Stuff