Dunelm appoints Alison Brittain as Chair Designate

Home furnishings retailer Dunelm has announced the appointment of Alison Brittain as an Independent Non-Executive Director and Chair Designate.

Alison will join the Dunelm Board on 7 September 2022 and it is expected that she will succeed Andy Harrison as Chair comfortably in advance of the expiry of his nine year term in September 2023.

Alison is a highly experienced business leader who brings considerable experience from a range of consumer-facing companies. She is currently Chief Executive of Whitbread PLC (“Whitbread”), the FTSE 100 leisure business, a role she has held since 2015. In this post she has been responsible for successfully scaling the company’s various hospitality brands before overseeing the sale of its Costa Coffee portfolio in 2019.

Since then, she has refocused the Group as a pureplay hotel company, strengthening the success of the UK business whilst developing an international platform for long term growth. Following the recent announcement of her retirement as CEO at Whitbread, it is expected that she will leave the business in early 2023.

Prior to her role at Whitbread, Alison held a number of senior roles in the UK banking industry, serving as Group Director in the Retail Division of Lloyds Banking Group PLC (2011-2015) and as Board Director at Santander UK PLC (2007-2011) and Barclays PLC (1987-2007). Alison is a Non-Executive Director of Experian plc, and has previously served as a Non-Executive Director of Marks & Spencer Group PLC.

Andy Harrison, Chairman of Dunelm, said: “I am thrilled to have an individual of Alison’s considerable talent and experience join our Board. Dunelm has emerged from Covid as a bigger and stronger business, with an even bigger opportunity ahead. I am sure that Alison will help us to unlock this potential even faster. She has strong values that are clearly aligned to ours and I look forward to working with her as she takes over the reins in due course.”

Alison Brittain added: “Dunelm is a company I have long admired as a customer and I love that it’s an entrepreneurial, purpose-led business with strong values and lots of ambition. The last two years have reinforced the importance of the home in all of our lives, and I am delighted to be joining a team with such a fabulous track record of focussing on delivering value for customers and a company with fantastic opportunity for future growth. I look forward to working with the Board and building on Andy’s achievements as Chair.”

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