20 July 2024, 13:11
By Furniture News Jun 01, 2021

Bensons appoints new chairman

Bensons for Beds has appointed non-executive director Ian Shepherd as chairman, taking over from Chris Howell.

Ian has previously served as the COO of Odeon and the CEO of Game Group.  He has also held senior commercial and retail leadership roles for brands including Vodafone and Sky Interactive. 

Ian joined Bensons’ board in September 2020 following a restructuring deal in June 2020 that injected £25m of new investment from Alteri to grow the business. 

Gavin George, founder and CEO of Alteri Investors, says: “I’d like to thank Chris for his leadership of the Bensons board through an extraordinary period. His leadership has enabled Bensons to emerge from lockdown strongly and well placed to continue with our planned transformation programme. While Ian’s no stranger, I’m looking forward to working more closely with him as he takes on the chairman role as we continue supporting Bensons’ development.” 

Chris comments: “It’s an understatement to say these have been some of the most challenging times of my professional career, but working alongside my board colleagues, Mark Jackson and his leadership team, we’ve worked hard to protect the business and ensure it’s well placed to re-emerge from lockdown strongly.  

“Having steered the business for the past 20 months through this period, the foundations are now in place for Bensons to successfully move forward."

Incoming chairman Ian says: “Since joining the Bensons board last year, I’ve seen the potential this business has - great people, a strong brand and a British manufacturing capability that provides a distinctive customer proposition. And the strong trading we’ve seen since the end of lockdown has underscored how exciting that potential really is. I look forward to working with Alteri and guiding the leadership team as we realise that potential.” 

Since the end of lockdown, Bensons has reopened its store network and seen significant pent-up demand from customers, with strong double-digit LFL growth against 2019 comparables.

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