Discount department store retailer TJ Hughes has named Beatrice Lafon as its new chief executive, in a planned succession replacing Sue Tennant who will be leaving at the end of the year.

Until recently Lafon was chief executive of Etam Group in the Netherlands, where she helped increase the profitability of the group during her time in office.  Prior to that, Beatrice held a variety of retail roles including commercial director of Woolworths Group Plc.

"We are pleased to have attracted someone of Beatrice's calibre to spearhead the next phase of TJ Hughes' strategic development," said chairman Neil McCausland. "Beatrice's experience and leadership skills make her exceptionally well positioned to exploit TJ Hughes' position as a leading force within the UK's quality discount retailing sector."

Sue Tennant joined the business in 2007 under a three-year brief to turn the business around.

TJ Hughes trades from 56 department stores nationwide and sells a range of merchandise including men's, women's and children's wear.