A leading international retail and e-commerce specialist who has held chief executive roles at Claire’s Accessories and Etam Group has joined the board of technology company Pimberly to help drive its US and European expansion.
Beatrice Lafon, who has vast senior experience with blue-chip companies across Europe and the US, has joined Pimberly as a non-executive director.
Pimberly is also aiming to utilise her expertise to help fuel its growth in the fashion and apparel sector.
During her executive career, Beatrice has held senior roles at Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, River Island, BSkyB, TJ Hughes and B&Q owner Kingfisher, as well as Claire’s Accessories, Dutch fashion group Etam and French omni-channel retailer Pimkie.
Her appointment to Pimberly’s board comes as the Manchester-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) company rolls out ambitious expansion plans following a £6.5m investment boost from existing and new institutional investors and the opening of its first US office in New York.
Martin Balaam, founder and CEO of Pimberly, said: “Beatrice has an enormous amount of retail experience in the UK and the United States and she will be an invaluable asset to the company as we push our expansion in those territories and across the EU.
“Specifically, she brings a wealth of insight into multi-brand, multinational enterprise retailers and brands. She is a welcome addition to our non-executive advisory team as we execute our growth plans and enhance our product offering to the fashion and apparel sector, a key target market for Pimberly.
“She is an inspirational person whose support, strategic advice and knowhow will be of tremendous benefit to the executive team as we pursue our goals.”
Pimberly’s SaaS product information management (PIM) and digital asset management platforms combine with cloud-based technology to help retailers, distributors and manufacturers boost sales by harnessing and enriching increasing volumes of accurate and engaging product data across multiple channels and regions.
Its offering enables clients to forge stronger relationships with their products and create richer shopping experiences for their customers through the use of more relevant data, images, videos and 3D visuals.
Pimberly has seen consistent and rapid development, and its fast-expanding customer base includes high-profile companies such as Ellis Brigham, JD Sports, Monsoon, FGH, Exertis and Card Factory.
So far this year, staff numbers have increased by 40 per cent, from 60 to 84, in line with organic growth, investment in product development and the US office opening.
Martin said: “As online sales increase through marketplaces which open up global trade, the need for complex product data and automation is the primary route to success, and hence the ascendancy of our solutions as necessary e-commerce tech stack platforms.
“We are thrilled to have Beatrice on board as our latest adviser as we take our world-class product to a wider market.”
Beatrice said: “I am delighted at the opportunity to support the international development of Pimberly in the US and across the EU, as well as forging an even stronger presence in retail generally.
“Pimberly offers robust, agile and easy-to-use solutions to enable e-commerce players to develop winning strategies by intelligently managing listings, digital assets and pricing across territories, e-commerce platforms and marketplaces – definitively a must-have tech solution for any ambitious e-commerce business.”