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Matalan appoints Ben Smith to new chief trading officer role

By Rachel Douglass



Image: Matalan logo displayed on a smartphone. Photo: Nikolas Kokovlis / NurPhoto via AFP.

Matalan has announced that Ben Smith will be taking on the newly created role of chief trading officer with immediate effect, as part of its ongoing transformation programme.

According to Retail Week, which reported the news, Smith will report directly to chief executive Jo Whitfield, who said in a statement to the publication: “Ben’s extensive and proven track record within retail and executive trading roles will benefit Matalan as we enter our next phase of growth with confidence.

“This new senior position will enable our focus on strengthening our commercial proposition and offering the great quality and value that our customers trust us for at Matalan.”

Smith initially joined Matalan in March 2023 as its interim buying and merchandising director, following on from his trading director position at Pep&Co.

Prior to that, he has also worked at Primark in a series of similar roles, including trading director for womenswear.

Smith’s appointment comes alongside Matalan’s further announcement that David Mellett and Toni Craig will be stepping down from their roles of sourcing and imports director and director of buying, respectively.

Whitfield added on their departures: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank David and Toni for their enduring commitment and instrumental roles supporting the business, our suppliers and our customers.

“They have cemented core relationships and championed Matalan’s value, family-focused vision and we wish them all the best for the future.”

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