Rowan’s Russell to take reins at Blakemore Wholesale

AF Blakemore has announced the appointment of James Russell, former MD of discount wholesaler Rowan International, as its new managing director, with specific responsibility for the company’s Wholesale Distribution division.

Russell (pictured) took on the role of Blakemore Wholesale Distribution MD on January 5, reporting to the AF Blakemore Group Wholesale managing director, Sam Wilcox.

The move “follows a strategic review” of  Blakemore’s wholesale Features > Business, and Russell will be responsible for steering the company’s overall wholesale distribution service, in addition the its new export operation. 

In addition to his three years at Rowan International, James Russell’s experience includes spells at Britvic Soft Drinks, where he was responsible for their wholesale business; and Gallaher, where he undertook a number of different roles across finance, supply chain and sales.

Sam Wilcox said: “This is a very exciting appointment for our Wholesale Distribution division, which represents a clear growth area for our business.

“James has the experience and credentials to steer this important part of our operation to the next level and help us achieve our longer-term strategic objectives.”

Russell added: “AF Blakemore is leading the industry in the way it approaches, engages and develops its people, suppliers and customers and I am really positive about the opportunities that this new role represents.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to come on board and play a role in leading the delivery of the next phase of growth for the business.

“We will look to do this by building our existing Features > Business, while expanding our customer footprint, both in the UK and abroad.”

Blakemore Wholesale Distribution is a national and international distribution service located at the 84,000 sq ft Apex II warehouse at Great Bridge in the West Midlands.

The division serves a diverse customer base comprising CTN retailers, convenience stores, forecourt retailers, multiple group customers, vending groups, leisure and holiday centres and local authorities.

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