March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Tesco Plc has moved the U.K. director of its F&F clothing chain to a new role as the largest British retailer merges the central European and domestic parts of the brand, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Bernadette Lusher, who joined from Marks & Spencer Group Plc over two years ago and is credited with improving the performance of F&F, is to move to general merchandise, said the people, who declined to be identified because the changes haven’t been publicly announced.
Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke touted the “stronger” clothing performance in stores and online over Christmas as it improved ranges and merchandising. Lusher helped focus the F&F brand by seeking out M&S quality and Next Plc styling at supermarket prices, as well as reducing reliance on discounting with a one low-price strategy, the people said.
Still, combining the U.K. team with the smaller central European team headed up by clothing Chief Executive Officer Jason Tarry caused friction internally, one of the people said. The move is the latest shake-up for clothing after former head Jill Easterbrook moved to a group role overseeing the Irish division and the mobile-phone unit last year, and Tarry replaced her.
Tesco’s clothing business accounts for about 5 percent of the company’s sales, Clive Black, an analyst at Shore Capital has said.
A representative for Tesco declined to comment on the matter.
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