John Heagney, a leading figure in the UK’s retail industry sector for four decades, has joined wholesaler Dee Bee as a consultant working on the company’s continuing expansion programme.
The appointment is regarded as a significant coup for the Dee Bee organisation, which is already one of the best known brands in the wholesaling sector.
Its managing director, Nick Ramsden, said:
John’s appointment is a significant move for us as we seek to grow the business.
John Heagney has more than 40 years’ experience in retail, with a particular focus on the convenience sector, working with owner-managed businesses through to large corporates.
His career began with the Heagney family’s long established retail food business on Teesside becoming managing director in 1975 and developing the company from 3 stores to a vibrant chain of 12. John joined the then fledgling Nisa buying group as a retail member in its first year of operation when the group had just a handful of stores and as Nisa grew so did Heagneys until John sold the business to fellow Nisa member, Day & Nite stores in 1999.
He was a non-executive director of Nisa for 16 years whilst a member and after selling his business was appointed commercial director prior to becoming group symbol director and being tasked with building the Nisa brand group of stores from zero to over 1,000 in just 10 years and helping the company to become the £1.6bn mutual business it is today.
John is a founder director and trustee of Making a Difference Locally, a registered charity created to help independently run local stores that are members of Nisa to add value to their communities by making donations to good causes.
Nick Ramsden said:
By bringing John into the Dee Bee team we will be able to tap into a huge wealth of knowledge gathered during his career in the UK retail and especially food retail industry. His contribution will be key to our long-term expansion strategy.
His brief is to identify and select existing convenience stores or new sites for Dee Bee to purchase and franchise to retailers, similar to the several units of 2,000 to 3,000 sq. ft. that we have recently added to our chain and then to work closely with these retailers maximising their overall retail offer to ensure that shoppers use these stores as their store of choice and that the retailers have successful and growing businesses.
Dee Bee is part of the Ramsden Group, of Grimsby, one of the country’s best known family-owned retailing and wholesaling businesses.