Martin Dawson

Poundland retail director Martin Dawson has left the business.

“Martin has made the decision to leave for personal reasons, which I respect,” said Poundland MD Barry Williams. “I’ve known Martin for years, I worked alongside him at Asda, and he’s a great guy and a great retailer and he’s decided now is the time to move on. I was chatting to him last night, he’s looking forward to Christmas and in the new year he will look into what’s right for him in terms of what he does next.”

Dawson joined Poundland from Asda in October 2015, which Williams said was a “challenging time for Poundland, but he did a brilliant job of putting focus, discipline and standards into our retailer operation which made a big contribution to how we turned our like-for-like performance around”.

Dawson’s departure has shaken up the structure of Poundland senior executive team.

“It’s given me the opportunity to make a couple of exciting appointments,” said Williams. “Austin Cooke, who had joined us to run Western Europe, will now take over the leadership of our UK shops and field teams as retail director.”

Simon Singleton has also been appointed director of central operations. “We are reinventing what our retail model needs to look like, so Simon will focus on shops then zoom out into the rest of the business and make sure everything is running as efficiently as it possibly can,” said Williams.

“Simon has been in the business for some time now, and since the Steinhoff acquisition he’s been looking at our retail productivity and doing some great work. There are plenty of opportunities for us to become more efficient. Whilst currency is playing against us, one of the best things we can do is become more efficient and free that benefit up to invest in the product and protect customers. Simon has played a huge role in that, so taking this chance to broaden his remit was the right fit for us.”