ACS New Board Appointments

From left: Susan Connolly, Darren Nickels, Rob George

The Association of Convenience Stores has appointed three new trading directors to its board.

They are Darren Nickels, retail technology operations director at Henderson Technology, Rob George, customer director at McColl’s, and Spar retailer Susan Connolly.

“We are delighted to welcome these new appointments to the ACS board, who bring with them a diverse range of skills and experience which will strengthen our strategic planning during what is a challenging time for the retail sector,” said ACS CEO James Lowman.

Nickels joined the Henderson Group in 1998 and has played a key role in the growth of the technology side of the business in the UK and Australia.

“I am very excited to join the board of directors at the ACS,” he said. “It is a great honour for me to be able to share my retail technology experience with forward-thinking independent convenience retailers who are looking to make important decisions that will positively affect the future of their business.”

George joined McColl’s in September 2021 as customer director, where he is responsible for keeping the customer at the heart of the business. Prior to this, he spent more than 10 years at Sainsbury’s in a number of roles, including leading Sainsbury’s Local business.

George said: “Since joining McColl’s, assured advice from ACS has been invaluable in helping understand and plan for the implications of key industry shifts such as HFSS and DRS legislation. I’m delighted to join the board so I can give something back to this essential organisation.”

Connolly is a director of Connolly Spar, a retail business that consists of four Spar stores in Wiltshire. It has been trading for over 60 years in the area.

“I am proud to represent the independent retailers on the board and look forward to the new position, working with ACS on the challenges facing independent retailers in the future,” said Connolly. 

The new board appointments will replace Central England Co-op CEO Debbie Robinson, Nisa retailer Paul Cheema and Bestway’s former chief retail officer Andy Cresswell, who are leaving the board. However, Paul Cheema will remain on the ACS Independent Board.