John Lewis has announced the appointment of Glynis Gunning-Stevenson as the branch manager of its new at home shop in Ashford, due to open later this year.
John Lewis at home Ashford will be located on a site close to junction 9 of the M20 in Kent. The £7m new build will extend over two floors with the ground and first floor selling areas totalling 39 000sq ft. The plans include a customer café and around 200 car parking spaces. It will focus on furniture, furnishing accessories, electrical and home technology. To allow customers to access and order a wider John Lewis assortment from johnlewis.com, customer online ordering points will be located throughout the shop and customers will also be able to use the free John Lewis Click and Collect service.
As branch manager, Gunning-Stevenson will be responsible for the overall success of John Lewis at home Ashford – the retailer’s 10th at home shop – as well as lead the 125 strong team of partners (staff), including sales assistants, specialist advisers and catering professionals.
Gunning-Stevenson has been part of the John Lewis Partnership since 2002. She started as a general manager at Waitrose and held several roles within the business including being responsible for the opening of the Regional Distribution Centre at Aylesford in 2007.
She then moved to the John Lewis division in 2008 where she took up the role of general manager in selling support at the flagship Oxford Street shop in London. Following the successful launch of the retailer’s ‘at home’ format, Gunning-Stevenson was appointed to lead the second shop in Croydon in 2010 and it is from here that she will join John Lewis at home Ashford as the branch manager.
Gunning-Stevenson said: “I’m delighted to become the branch manager for the business’ tenth ‘at home’ shop. Having been at the helm of John Lewis at home Croydon I know how popular the format is with customers and I’m excited to be bringing this to Ashford and the surrounding areas.”
Prior to working for the John Lewis Partnership, Gunning-Stevenson served in the British Army in the Royal Corps of Transport. Following her Officer training at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, she served in Germany, Belize, and Northern Ireland, before taking on a civilian role and working for the Army in Hong Kong and Germany.
Gunning-Stevenson said: “The Army taught me so much about leadership and teamwork. These two skills have been essential during my time with John Lewis and will continue to be as we work towards opening in Ashford.”
Maggie Porteous, director of selling, north and new format, John Lewis, said: “With extensive experience of leading new shop openings during her 11 years with the business, Glynis is absolutely the right person to open our tenth ‘at home’ shop, a milestone we are particularly proud of. I believe her dedication, motivation and enthusiasm gained from her career thus far with the John Lewis Partnership, as well as the military, will really inspire her new team of partners (staff) and come opening day, the people of Ashford too.”