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Multi-channel executive roles grow in importance

Further proof of the growing importance of the internet, as if it were really needed, was the two recent appointments of new directors of e-commerce at DSGi and Pets at Home that signals their intent to aggressively grow their online divisions. By Glynn Davis, City editor

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Multi-channel executive roles grow in importance

Into DSGi next month will step David Walmsley, head of e-commerce at John Lewis, who will be taking on an important role at the electricals retailer as the i
nternet has been earmarked as crucial to its future.

It is fair to say it has under-delivered in this department and Walmsley will undoubtedly be tasked with defending DSGi from losing further sales to his former employer and the many online electricals specialists that have popped up.

The Pets at Home appointment of Matthew Stead, former marketing director of The White Company, as director of multi-channel represents a strong sign that the pet goods retailer is serious about its online operations, which have to date been seen as very much secondary to its growing stores estate.

Clearly this new role, with Stead sitting on the operational board, will see Pets at Home seek to grow its multi-channel capability having proven through its transactional website that there is plenty of demand for buying pet goods online. Progress on this front will also do the retailer no harm as it undoubtedly nears the point of exit for its private equity backers.

How much change Stead and Walmsley will be able to introduce to their respective new companies in the run up to Christmas is questionable but their arrival represents a further sign that a strong multi-channel approach is increasingly being seen by the big guns in the industry as the most likely winning model.

glynnd@theretailbulletin.com

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