Jones Bootmaker and Brantano appoint new executive chairman

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UK footwear retailers Jones Bootmaker and Brantano are pleased to announce the appointment of David Riddiford as executive chairman.

Riddiford joins as an experienced retailer with significant expertise in building leading retail brands throughout the UK and international markets. He has held numerous senior managerial roles over the last 30 years including global CEO of Links of London, CEO of Ireland’s largest department store Arnotts, and president of Lane Crawford, Asia’s iconic luxury department store. Most recently he was the UK CEO of Danish jewellery company Trollbeads.

After overseeing the restructuring of the group and creating a solid platform for growth following the acquisition by Alteri Investors in October 2015, David Short intends to step down as CEO. Short will remain with the business until October 2016 to ensure a smooth handover and to provide additional support for Brantano as it continues its development, post restructuring in early 2016.

Riddiford’s appointment is the latest in a series of important hires at Jones Bootmaker and Brantano, aimed at driving the next stage of both companies’ development:

  •  The appointment of Ben Harness (Dunelm, Interflora) to the newly created role of director of multi-channel and Neil Holden (New Look, Habitat) as the new head of IT will help both Jones and Brantano deliver a complete customer experience across all retail channels.
  • At Jones Bootmaker, Sarah Davies (Dorothy Perkins, M&S) joined as chief product officer in June, and Barbara Lucas (Kurt Geiger, Dune, All Saints) was appointed as head of design in May. They will work closely with retail operations director Dan Shaw to relaunch the Jones Bootmaker brand later this year.
  • Brantano’s development will be driven separately by chief product officer Simon Cook and retail operations Director Karen Staton.

Separately, Jones Bootmaker and Brantano recently outsourced warehousing and store deliveries to DHL and moved the joint head office from Coalville to a new 20,000sq ft office space in Hinckley.

Gavin George, CEO of Alteri, said: “We welcome the addition of David Riddiford, a highly skilled practitioner with an excellent track record of leading retail businesses to growth. We are confident that under his guidance, Jones Bootmaker and Brantano will be able to re-establish their status in the UK market, and potentially overseas.  We would also like to thank David Short for his hard work and commitment to the business in the last 8 years during both Alteri’s and Macintosh Retail Group’s ownership.”

Riddiford added: “I’m really excited by the opportunity to help Jones Bootmaker and Brantano reclaim their market leading positions and greatly look forward to working with the talented teams of both businesses.  With an enhanced customer proposition, I’m confident that we can build on Jones’ impressive heritage in contemporary craftsmanship and Brantano’s distinct value for money positioning.”