Paula Nickolds, the general merchandise boss at Sainsbury’s, will be stepping down from her position to take on the role of CEO at The White Company. This move comes after her previous tenure as CEO at John Lewis department stores. Nickolds is set to start her new position in March. During her time at Sainsbury’s, she successfully bolstered the company’s fashion own-brands and brand partnerships both in-store and online. Nickolds will be replacing Mary Homer, who has served as CEO of The White Company for nearly seven years.

The founder of The White Company, Chrissie Rucker, lauded Nickolds as a “passionate, values-driven leader” with a wealth of experience in the retail industry, particularly in lifestyle, home, and fashion. Rucker also expressed gratitude towards Mary Homer for her contributions to the company’s growth and her exceptional leadership, especially during the challenging times presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sainsbury’s commended Nickolds for her achievements in their Brands that Deliver strategy, which successfully bolstered their Argos Habitat and Tu brands. The company noted that Nickolds leaves behind a strong team, and her responsibilities will be assumed by Graham Biggart, the current chief transformation officer at Sainsbury’s. Biggart will now hold the dual role of chief transformation and general merchandise commercial officer. Matt Leeser, who currently serves as the business unit director for seasonal, toys, and electricals, will take on the role of general merchandise commercial director and will report directly to Biggart.

The departure of Paula Nickolds comes at a crucial juncture for Sainsbury’s as they aim to further expand into the fashion segment. The impact of her absence on the company’s future strategies remains to be seen. On the other hand, The White Company stands to gain a highly experienced retail executive in Nickolds, who is well-equipped to guide the brand into its next phase of development.

Useful Links:
1. John Lewis Partnership
2. The White Company