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John Lewis Partnership taps new property director

By Huw Hughes


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Martin Gafsen Credits: John Lewis Partnership

John Lewis Partnership, which comprises department store chain John Lewis and supermarket Waitrose, has named Martin Gafsen as new director of property, effective November 13.

In his new role, Gafsen will be responsible for the strategy and management of the British retailer’s property portfolio. He succeeds Chris Harris who announced earlier this year he will be exiting the business after five years.

Gafsen joins from Royal Mail Group, where he currently serves as interim corporate finance director, before which he was the company’s property and facilities director for 16 years. In that role, he was responsible for Royal Mail Group’s nationwide freehold and leasehold estate, including facilities management, construction, and development.

“It’s a great privilege to join the partnership, home to two of the UK’s most loved brands,” Gafsen said in a statement.

“With an extensive and valuable property portfolio, we have an important role to play in ensuring it continues delivering value for the long term benefit of customers and Partners for generations to come,” he said.

Gafsen will report to John Lewis Partnership’s executive director of finance, Bérangère Michel.

“[Gafsen’s] wealth of experience will be instrumental in helping to deliver our future growth,” Michel said.

Last month, John Lewis Partnership announced it managed to narrow its losses in the first half of the year, but announced the timeline for its major turnaround strategy had been pushed back by several years.

Earlier this month, the partnership announced that chair Sharon White would be stepping down within a year, and that a search for her successor was underway.

“Having led the partnership through the pandemic and the worst of the cost of living crisis, it is important that there is now a smooth and orderly succession process and handover,” White said at the time.

John Lewis
John Lewis Partnership