– UK – Poundland Group PLC, Europe’s biggest single price discount retailer, has today announced the appointment of Darren Shapland, currently the Senior Independent Director, as its new Chairman with immediate effect. Darren will take over from Andrew Higginson, who has informed the Board of his wish to step down.

Darren has over 25 years of retail and public company experience having held senior financial and operational roles with The Burton Group/Arcadia, Kingfisher and J Sainsbury plc, where he was Chief Financial Officer from 2005 to 2010 before becoming Group Development Director. Most recently he was Chief Executive of Carpetright plc. He has been the Senior Independent Director of Poundland since February 2014, before the successful IPO of the business in March. He is also a non-executive Director of Wolseley and Ladbrokes where he chairs the Audit Committee.  

Jim McCarthy, Poundland’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Darren has been on the Board for nearly six months and has already made a very significant contribution to the business. As our Senior Independent Director he is ideally placed to ensure a seamless transition into the Chairman’s role.  Andy has been an excellent Chairman for Poundland and was invaluable in helping guide us through our successful IPO this year.  He leaves with the appreciation and thanks of the whole company and we wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Darren Shapland said: “I am delighted to be appointed Chairman and am very excited about the next few years in the development of Poundland. With the successful IPO behind us, the UK business growing strongly, and our first store in Continental Europe just opened, it’s a great time to be taking on this new role.” 

Andrew Higginson said: “It’s been a great privilege to chair Poundland and to work with its tremendously talented team through such an important period in its development. I wish the company every success in the future.” 

About Darren Shapland

Darren Shapland has over 25 years retail and consumer experience across the Burton Group / Arcadia, Kingfisher, Carpetright and Sainsburys. He trained as a Chartered Certified Accountant and qualified in 1989 when with the Burton Group, going on to hold a number of senior financial and operational roles including Group Planning Controller, Supply Chain Director, Finance Director for Top Shop / Top Man, Finance Director for Arcadia Brands and then Managing Director for the Arcadia Home Shopping Business and Digital Business. In 2000 he joined Kingfisher as Chief Financial Officer for Superdrug.  He became Group Finance Director of Carpetright in 2002 with responsibility for all the core finance functions plus Logistics, IT, HR, Internal Audit and IR. Following three years at Carpetright he joined Sainsburys as Chief Financial Officer with responsibility for Finance, IR, Audit, Property, IT and was Chairman of Sainsburys Bank. In 2010 he took on the Executive Director brief for the Sainsburys New Businesses (as Group Development Director) and ran Convenience, Digital, Bank, Property, Overseas Development, New Business Development and Strategy.  In 2011 he re-joined Carpetright initially as a non- executive Director before becoming Chief Executive.  He left Carpetright in late 2013 and has started to build a portfolio of business interests. He was appointed a non-executive Director of Poundland in February 2014 and is also a non-executive Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee at Ladbrokes and recently joined the Board of Wolseley.

About Poundland

Poundland plc joined the premium segment of the London Stock Market in March 2014.  

Poundland is Europe’s largest single price value general merchandise retailer and winner of the 2014 Grocer Awards for Variety Discount Retailer of the Year. Over 500 stores have been opened in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Spain since 1990. In the Republic of Ireland and Spain, Poundland trades under the Dealz brand.  Poundland sells quality top brands and own brand products all for the single price point of £1, providing customers with amazing value every day. 

Serving an average of 5 million customers every week Poundland offers an irresistible shopping experience where shoppers are guaranteed to find approximately  3,000 quality products per store and over 1,000 well-known brands, across 17 shopping categories including  food and drink, health and beauty, household, gardening, DIY, Pet, Stationery, Books, DVDs and Toys.

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