Jo Hooper, the head of buying for womenswear at department store retailer John Lewis is stepping down after six years in the role.

Hooper, who joined the group in 2008, will leave with immediate effect. She is "actively considering a number of options for her next role", a spokesperson for John Lewis said.

"When Jo joined John Lewis, our women's fashion was seen by many as being behind the times," said Paula Nickolds, buying director.

"Her vision and drive have created the assortment which you see in John Lewis today. She has introduced new brands to reinvigorate our offer, and in particular her work to bring our Somerset collaboration with Alice Temperley to life resulted in our most successful new launch ever.

"I know she will take the verve and dedication she has brought to John Lewis to any role she takes up."

Julie Wright of Claire's Accessories is taking up the role on an interim basis. She previously worked for John Lewis as head of women's accessories.