POWER LIST 2017: Retail Stars – Sharon Webb, head of lingerie buying and design, Debenhams

Debenhams head of buying and design for lingerie, Sharon Webb.

As head of lingerie buying and design, Sharon Webb has played a pivotal role in driving growth at Debenhams over the last 12 months.

The department store’s latest financial results showed that lingerie and swimwear helped boost revenue growth last year as the business strengthened its non-clothing division.

Bridal lingerie sales climbed 16% in the 52 weeks to September 3 and the B by Ted Baker range grew 15% in the same period.

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The athleisure trend also showed core strength in 2016, with Shock Absorber’s sports bra sales rising 19% versus the year before.

Meanwhile, Debenhams’ summer campaign drove its swimwear to the number one market position, with 318,000 swimsuits sold.

The Matthew Williamson swimwear range put in a particularly strong performance, delivering a full-price sell-through of 80% on the advertised line.

In the run up to Christmas, lingerie sales soared 25% on the year.

Sharon Webb said at the time: “Sales for lingerie and sleepwear this Christmas have outperformed previous Christmases with customers continuing to shop on Christmas Eve.”

Webb and her team have taken on several new brands in the last 12 months as the demand for fashionable lingerie and multi-purpose leisurewear grows. These include Scantilly by Curvy Kate, Australian activewear brand Lorna Jane, Bonds an iconic underwear brand also from Australia and fuller-figure lingerie brand Sculptresse by Panache.

Webb has worked for Debenhams for the last 10 years, starting as a buying manager, before becoming the head of design in July 2010 and head of lingerie buying and design in March 2011.

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Company: Debenhams
Address: 10 Brock St, Regents Place, London NW1 3FG
Tel: 020 3549 6000
Twitter: @Debenhams
Website: www.debenhams.com
Focus: Lingerie retail





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