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Sandersons strengthens management team with new appointments

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

14 Dec 2020

Sheffield-based independent department store Sandersons has appointed three new directors to its board, as it looks to strengthen the company’s management team ahead of its third store opening next year.

Lisa Fox, who joined the department store as the manager of its flagship in Sheffield in 2016 and led the expansion of the business with its second store in Morpeth last year, has been named managing director.

While Philippa Meighan, who has more than 25 years of experience in retail for brands including Topshop, River Island and New Look, has been appointed buying director. Meighan joined the company in November 2019 and has been working closely with the chief executive on introducing several key, luxury brands to Sandersons, as part of the company’s wider strategy to establish an unrivalled retail experience in the UK.

The final appointment is naming Fran O’Connell as e-commerce director. O’Connell started her career at Sandersons as a sales assistant when the store first opened in 2016, while studying for a degree in business management and leadership, and has achieved several promotions including manager of the Clarins concession and e-commerce manager in March this year. Her promotion comes as she has played an important role in establishing its online presence and significantly growing sales.

Sandersons appoint a new managing director, buying director and e-commerce director

The newly formed Sandersons board has been tasked with growing the business, as well as establishing a third store which is set to open in the Cotswolds in spring 2021, added the department store in a statement. They will also work together on strengthening the product ranges in the Sheffield and Morpeth stores as well as online, which has been the biggest growth area for the business this year.

Sandersons chief executive, Mark Dransfield, said in a statement: “I am delighted to welcome Lisa, Philippa and Fran to the board of directors at Sandersons. They are exceptional individuals who have shown leadership and loyalty throughout what has been a challenging period.

“The company has performed exceptionally well during 2020 and we see a large gap in the marketplace where strong Market towns have recovered much faster than city centre locations and this is where we see our future growth. We strive to deliver exceptional customer service in an experiential environment. Our store’s product range is growing in sophistication and this fits perfectly with our target customers.”

Sandersons was founded in 2016 by the late Yorkshire businesswoman Deborah Holmes at Fox Valley in North Sheffield. Her husband, Mark Dransfield, founder and managing director of South Yorkshire property company, Dransfield Properties, took over the business in 2018. The department store opened a second store in October 2020 in Morpeth and a third store is set to open at Stroud’s Five Valleys Shopping Centre in spring 2021.

The independent boutique stocks a number of top fashion brands including Barbour, Barbour International, Pennyblack, Holland Cooper, Hobbs, Ventcouvert, Ugg, Jacob Cohen Jeans, Gran Sasso, and Guide London, as well as a wide range of high end, luxury fragrances such as Parfums de Marley, Initio, Atkinsons, Histoires de Parfums and Robert Piquet.

Image: courtesy of Sandersons