After many years of buying greeting cards and seasonal products for John Lewis & Partners, Lisa Rutherford has changed tack to take up the position as nursery buyer for the department store group.
Hugely respected for her passion for product, fair-minded and level-headed approach, Lisa will be missed by many in the greeting card trade. Lisa took over as buyer of stationery (which includes single greeting cards) five years ago, but has been involved in buying seasonal products (which includes Spring Seasons merchandise) since 2004. John Lewis
Although no direct replacement for Lisa has been appointed as yet, Sarah Moughtin, previously assistant buyer on core Stationery will step up as junior buyer in the short term.
Lisa leaves the department on a high with sales of Christmas singles continuing to soar.
“Our Christmas singles are performing brilliantly – the last month has seen double digit growth every week. This is really exciting given that last year was also a record season on this category,” says Lisa.
However, the department store group’s sales of packaged Christmas cards (the buying for which is overseen by a different team) are not quite as sparkling, but there are some areas of growth.
Experienced JL&P buyer Dan Cooper, whose wide remit includes Christmas Shop (which covers packaged Christmas cards) revealed that as anticipated by the retailer, overall their sales are down, but not as much as expected.
“We planned for packaged card sales to be down this year, and overall they are running 17% behind last year, which is better than we anticipated,” said Dan.
However on a positive note, the sales of the retailer’s own brand charity boxed cards, which offer a 25% donation to charities are up 3%.
Dan confirmed that “the entire deficit” was coming from branded cello cards, sales of which are down 42%.
“We do believe the charity element is important and that the cards we design and produce ourselves are a key point of difference,” said Dan.
Top: Lisa Rutherford judging The Calies 2019 recently.