Kingfisher retail boss nets WH Smith commercial role

WH Smith Retail has appointed Kingfisher Group retail development manager Brent Wilkinson to the newly-created post of commercial director, as it battles to revive its performance.

Wilkinson will oversee the activities of four new business units: children and education; organisation and gifts; entertainment, interests and relaxation; and the express unit, which will cover items such as newspapers and magazines.

Peter Bamford, managing director of WH Smith Retail, says the move completes a recent management restructure.

He adds: “Brent’s trading and commercial skills will be a vital ingredient in delivering future success. I believe that we now have an exceptionally strong team to drive the business forward.

“The specialist units will enable disciplines to be better integrated. This will create closer relationships with suppliers and constantly improve our offer to consumers.”

Wilkinson has held a number of senior management roles at King-fisher, including managing director of Comet between 1989 and 1993.

Last week, WH Smith revealed losses of 195m – the first time the company has made a loss its 204 year history.

But its share price is virtually unaffected as much of the loss can be put down to write-offs and restructuring of the business.

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