Karen Millen hires All Saints e-commerce director to drive online sales

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British fashion brand Karen Millen has poached All Saints e-commerce director Lynn Ritson.

Ritson will join Karen Millen in July and will be the company’s first e-commerce director.

Ritson has held her post at All Saints for a year with additional responsibility for global web development and customer services. 

Her previous experience includes working at board level with UK and international brands including CoutureLab, Space NK and Bertelsmann.

In the newly created role, Ritson will be responsible for devising and leading the global strategy for the Karen Millen website proposition in line with the brand’s growth plans for overseas presence and market share. She will report to joint managing directors Gemma Metheringham and Steve Price.

Founded in 1981, Karen Millen is described as an iconic fashion brand offering distinctive, affordable luxury to confident women. It currently operates in 331 locations and 41 countries around the globe. Formerly part of the Aurora Fashions Group, it was established as a separate company in March 2011 to facilitate the next stage of its xpansion.

Metheringham said: “We are delighted Lynn is joining our management team. We see tremendous opportunity to grow our e-commerce business internationally to support our overall expansion strategy and, with her digital and brand innovation credentials, Lynn will be invaluable in delivering our distinct brand personality in the online environment.”

Karen Millen’s international footprint comprises both company-owned businesses and franchise partnerships, with global retail sales of over £250m. It trades in renowned fashion cities including London, Paris, Madrid, New York, Moscow, LA and Hong Kong. Over the last 12 months, 51 new stores have opened globally in the USA, Middle East, Europe, Far East and Australasia.

Last year, overseas business, which represent circa 60% of total sales, grew by almost a quarter (23%), but online international sales grew by 81%. The brand website currently trades in two countries – the UK and US – but fulfils to 19 other countries, with plans to establish two new country sites in Germany and Australia by the end of 2011.

Derek Lovelock, executive chairman of Karen Millen, said: “Lynn is a leading practitioner in her field and her appointment is testament to the strength and success of the Karen Millen brand. She will play a key role in positioning the brand online to continue the phenomenal growth story of this 30 year-old design-led business.”