Shop Direct appoints Ben Fletcher as CFO

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Shop Direct, the UK’s largest integrated pureplay online retailer and financial services provider, has appointed former European president of Clarks Shoes, Ben Fletcher, as group CFO. He will join on 6 January 2020 and report to group CEO, Henry Birch, as a member of Shop Direct’s executive board. 

Having joined in 2017, Ben led Clarks Shoes’ £1bn-revenue, 9,000 colleague-strong European business, which spans retail and wholesale. He was responsible for customer-centric investments including a new European fulfilment centre; delivering significant digital expansion and increasing colleague engagement. 

Prior to joining Clarks Shoes, Fletcher was at Walgreens Boots Alliance for six years, most recently as managing director of Boots Opticians. Under his leadership, which included the introduction of a new customer proposition, Boots Opticians consistently grew market share, revenue, profit and EBITDA yearon-year. Ben also held the roles of finance director for Boots UK & Ireland and commercial finance director for Boots UK. 

Between 1999 and 2011, Fletcher held a series of senior finance positions at Procter & Gamble worldwide, including global finance director for the company’s $2bn-turnover Salon Professional business based in Geneva. In this role, he was a senior member of the team leading the successful integration and reorganisation following P&G’s acquisitions of Wella and Clairol.

Fletcher, who is currently a non-executive board member at the British Retail Consortium, will lead Shop Direct’s 150-strong finance team. He will assume the position currently held on an interim basis by Dominic Appleton, who will remain with Shop Direct as finance director.  

Henry Birch, group CEO at Shop Direct, said: “Ben is an outstanding finance and general management leader, who has consistently delivered growth across large and complex consumer businesses. He’s proven to be customer and colleague-focused, with significant experience in online. He’ll play a vital part as we invest to be the number one destination for shoppers who value a combination of leading brands and flexible ways to pay.”

“I would also like to thank Dominic Appleton for his significant contribution to Shop Direct and am delighted that he will continue to play a pivotal role for us.”

Fletcher commented: “Shop Direct is an ambitious business with an outstanding history and an exciting future. Its transformation to date has been industry-leading, but there’s still work to do. I’m excited to be joining a business that’s at the centre of retail, financial services and digital, and squarely focused on understanding and serving its customers even better.”