AIS appoints new Chair to support independent retail

AIS, the UK and Ireland’s leading buying and services group for Fashion, Home, and Leisure for independent retail has appointed Neville Moore as its new Chair.

Neville is the Managing Director of Ulster Stores and has been with the business for 41 years. Ulster Stores is a family-owned independent retail group and the parent company of a collection of four independent flagship department stores including: Moores of Coleraine and The White House in Portrush both located on the North Coast of Northern Ireland; de Gruchy based in St. Helier in Jersey; and Clares of Llandudno in Wales.

In his opening remarks he extolled the virtues and opportunities of the membership of AIS as well as talking positively about the health of independent retail:

“There has never been a better time to be independent, to differentiate what we do and offer our customers an exciting alternative to much of the current retail landscape.

“Independents working together was why we joined AIS some 35 years ago and it’s still one of the reasons we are members today. If we have been successful then I can put a fair amount of that down to belonging to AIS, we have learnt much from our peers and gained from the buying strength and support functions.”

Neville will also be joined by Darryl Simpson as Deputy Chair. Darryl is the Managing Director of W J Aldiss, and responsible for day-to-day business operations of the store. Founded in 1892 by the Aldiss family, it has two stores located in Norfolk and offers a wide range of furniture, homewares, flooring, and giftware.

The outgoing Chair is Stephen McCammon who extended his Chairmanship due to Covid-19 and its fallout. Reflecting on his time as Chair he said:

“The sense of AIS being led by Members and for Members has never been greater and we should engage more to maximise the benefit for all of us.”

He adds; “The current economic headwinds will bring further challenges, but I strongly believe the Board, the Executive and the AIS team are very well placed to rise above the challenges”.

Sue Kemp, who has been Managing Director since 2020 commenting on the new Board leadership, said: “AIS is a wonderful organisation for independent retail and is committed to ensuring Members thrive; both Stephen and Neville represent what’s brilliant about this sector – creativity, commercial acumen, and entrepreneurialism – all working together for mutual success. I thank Stephen for his enthusiasm and commitment and look forward to working with Neville and Darryl in driving our strategy for our members.”

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