Retail veteran Darren Shapland named chairman of notonthehighstreet.com

The eCommerce company, which acts as an online marketplace for 5,000 small businesses across the UK, has secured Shapland to harness his vast experience of working with large operations. Indeed, the executive is also currently the chairman of Topps Tiles and Maplin.

His arrival comes after Simon Belsham was named the new CEO in March, having quit his post of online director at Tesco to join notonthehighstreet officially in May. Co-founder Holly Tucker described him as an “online retail and ecommerce expert”.

“I am very pleased to be joining notonthehighstreet.com. The group goes from strength to strength and Simon’s recent arrival signals a new era of progression for the business, building on the original entrepreneurial vision of the founders,” said Shapland.

“I am fascinated by successful retail and ecommerce organisations and this really is one of the pioneers in its field and a true champion of small, creative businesses and entrepreneurs.”

In addition to his board leadership roles, Shapland was previously the CEO of Carpetright, and both CFO and group development director at Sainsbury’s.

Read more on job moves:

The ecommerce market is a hot sector right now and was given a significant push from online retail entrepreneur Mark Pearson in May when he started new venture capital firm Fuel.Ventures.

“The ecommerce sector is thriving and Fuel.Ventures will be investing in the most ambitious and scalable opportunities,” he said. “Our mission is to create, invest and grow companies. We will build products people want and need and we will invest in some of Europe’s most exciting early stage companies. Ultimately, we will help grow and build companies with great potential and take them to the next level.”

The £30m fund opened with a crowdfunding campaign, underlining the commitment of embracing disruptive ideas to help the ecommerce market grow. 

CEO of notonthehighstreet.com, Belsham, said: “This is an exciting day for us. Darren’s significant track record and CV speak for themselves and we look forward to welcoming him to the board of notonthehighstreet.com. His career experience and passion for retail will be beneficial to our business and the next phase in our ambitious growth plans.”

Since launching in 2006, the firm has supported its small businesses partners with sales of more than £300m. In fact, 2014 resulted in 11 partners generating turnover of more than £1m through notonthehightstreet.com, and Shapland and Belsham appear to be keen on bolstering that number in 2015.

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