A new managing director has taken the helm at Shropshire’s leading independent furniture store as the company embarks on its 45th anniversary year.
Carl Johnson has been appointed as managing director at Alan Ward to lead the business which has stores in Shrewsbury, Chester, Winsford and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Mr Johnson, 52, has worked in the home interiors industry since leaving university and said he was looking forward to leading his team of 104 staff to achieve further growth and success for the business.
He has spent the last 16 years at Brintons Carpets, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality axminsters in Kidderminster where he led the Retail Division consisting of 87 members of staff.
Prior to Brintons, Mr Johnson had previously worked for 11 years at Richard Burbidge in Oswestry in various sales and marketing roles.
Reacting to his appointment a delighted Mr Johnson said: “I have spent my entire career in home interiors so to join the team at Alan Ward where we offer everything under one roof – or four – is certainly the perfect role for me.”
Revealing his vision and plans for Alan Ward, Mr Johnson said: “With the support of the management team here at the head office in Shrewsbury and the teams in each of the stores, we will be looking at developing all of our products and services further in line with customer demand and expectations.
“Although Alan Ward already offers an extensive choice, the plan is to expand that choice even further with new product categories and services both in store and on-line.”
Mr Johnson continued: “With having the four stores and a growing internet business, we can offer our customers the convenience of shopping on-line at www.alanward.co.uk as well as also being able to visit their local store to experience the product of their choice.
“In the home furniture and interiors industry researching the product on-line is just one part of the customer journey – the in-store experience is vital and provides the opportunity for customers to touch, see and feel the comfort and quality as well as enjoying the exceptional customer service that Alan Ward prides itself on.
“This ‘bricks and clicks’ model backed by first class service is certainly driving sales and we want to ensure that customers always love their choice whatever that may be.
“Our dedicated staff at Alan Ward pride themselves on helping our customers make that perfect choice.”
Mr Johnson, who has lived in Shrewsbury with his wife Corolene and their family for the last 25 years, added: “To join Alan Ward as managing director as the
business celebrates its 45th year is a true privilege and I look forward to driving
the growth of the company with the fantastic and dedicated team we have at the company.
“In my new role I am also looking forward to meeting and working with others within the business communities of Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire.”
Locally, Mr Johnson is currently Chairman of the governing body at Oxon Primary School in Shrewsbury and also a director of The Priory School in Shrewsbury where he was instrumental in helping the school achieve academy status in 2012.
He is also chairman of the Shrewsbury Development Centre, founded in 2010 and based at Lilleshall National Sports Centre near Newport, which offers high quality football training in Shrewsbury for gifted and talented youngsters between the ages of 13-18.