Matalan has appointed Ben Smith to the newly created role of chief trading officer with immediate effect as the retailer embarks on a transformation programme, Retail Week can reveal. 

Ben Smith, Matalan's chief trading officer

Ben Smith

Smith joined Matalan in March 2023 as interim buying and merchandising director from value retail business Pep&Co where he was trading director. 

Smith starts the role with over 25 years of experience in the value retail sector including senior trading roles across fashion, beauty and general merchandise. Before Pep&Co, Smith worked at Primark including as trading director for womenswear, and buying director for home, menswear, footwear, accessories and beauty. 

Smith will directly report to chief executive Jo Whitfield.

The fashion retailer also announced that David Mellett, sourcing and imports director, and Toni Craig, director of buying, will be leaving the business.  

Whitfield said: “Ben’s extensive and proven track record within retail and executive trading roles will benefit Matalan as we enter our next phase of growth with confidence. This new senior position will enable our focus on strengthening our commercial proposition and offering the great quality and value that our customers trust us for at Matalan.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank David and Toni for their enduring commitment and instrumental roles supporting the business, our suppliers and our customers. They have cemented core relationships and championed Matalan’s value, family-focused vision and we wish them all the best for the future.” 

Smith added: “I am delighted to assume the role of chief trading officer, particularly at this important stage in Matalan’s growth journey. Through my initial role as interim buying and merchandising director, I have built a good understanding of the business, its deep-rooted values, and its important partnerships. I am excited to collaborate further with my talented colleagues to deliver on Matalan’s ambitions.”