Home Retail Group has announced the appointment of Echo Lu as managing director for Homebase, succeeding Paul Loft.
She joins Homebase from Tesco, where she has worked for the past 10 years across different markets and a broad range of functions. Her most recent roles were as group business planning & insight director and property director for Tesco UK & Ireland. She was also a member of the UK board.
Prior to these posts, Echo held a number of roles in Tesco’s Asian business, including chief operating officer for China; operations director, East China; and commercial buying for grocery. Her career began at Bristol-Myers Squibb where she held a number of positions, culminating as HR director for China. Echo graduated in international economy & finance at Fudan University.
Home Retail Group chief executive John Walden said: “Echo has significant, broad-based retail experience, both in the UK and the rapidly evolving Asian region, and importantly has been an agent for positive change throughout her career. She is the ideal candidate to lead Homebase and its productivity plan, as we improve the store operational standards and customer service, develop stronger customer propositions and accelerate Homebase’s digital capabilities, and realise its potential for greater growth.”
Echo Lu commented: “I’m delighted to join Home Retail Group and to lead the Homebase business. Homebase is a strong UK brand with an ambitious plan in the short term to strengthen its foundations and exciting longer-term growth opportunities. I look forward to working with John, his executive team, the Homebase leadership team and the 18,000 Homebase colleagues to build a stronger business for the future.” She takes up her new position on April 20.
Homebase sells around 38,000 products for the home and garden, with some 60 million transactions a year. It has 304 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2014, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion. It is part of Home Retail Group.