Board of Directors

John Coleman, Non-executive Chairman

johnJohn Coleman has 16 years of experience acting as a Non-executive Director on the boards of various companies in different sectors, including builder’s merchants, travel/leisure and retail and the value fashion retail segment. John worked as CEO of House of Fraser between 1996 and 2006 and as CEO of Texas Homecare and Ladbrokes plc between 1993 and 1995. Before that he was Managing Director of Dorothy Perkins from 1991 to 1993, Managing Director of Topman and Topshop from 1990 to 1991 and Managing Director of Topshop from 1986 to 1990, all at the Burton Group. John is a qualified accountant..

Helen Connolly, Chief Executive


Since joining the company in 2016, Helen has led a widespread programme of modernisation, developing the product offering and growing the online proposition as part of a multichannel approach. Under Helen’s leadership, investment in retail structures, market-leading IT solutions, and the move to a more agile supply base has set the business up to become fit for the future.

With over 20 year’s retail experience, particularly in women’s apparel, Helen has a unique and in-depth understanding of the industry. Formerly Senior Buying & Brand Director for George at ASDA, responsible for all women’s clothing, non-clothing and male and female essentials, her commercial focus during her time there delivered both profit and market share growth. Other positions at Asda included Category Director for Buying and Design and Buying Manager of Womenswear. Prior to this, Helen was Head of Buying at Dorothy Perkins and Head of Sourcing for Womenswear and Girlswear at Next Asia plc.

Helen began her career in Buying at Next after graduating from Manchester Metropolitan with a First class BSc (Hons) in Clothing, Marketing and Distribution.

Stephen Alldridge, Finance Director

steveStephen Alldridge joined the Group in 2003 and has an in-depth knowledge of Bonmarché. This knowledge is invaluable to the Board. He jointly led the acquisition of the business in January 2012 and was closely involved in the development of strategy, as well as overseeing Bonmarché’s logistics and IT operations. He led the successful AIM IPO in November 2013 and Bonmarché’s move to the Main Market in October 2015. Before joining Bonmarché, he was a Financial Controller at The Peacock Group plc, which he joined in 1996. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young, following which he spent two further years with the firm specialising in corporate recovery.

Ishbel Macpherson, Senior Independent Non-executive Director

IshbelIshbel Macpherson has over 10 years of experience acting as a Non-executive Director on the boards of various companies in different sectors, including pharmaceuticals, retail and support services. Prior to acting as a Non-executive Director, Ishbel worked in the finance sector, as Head of UK Emerging Companies, Corporate Finance at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein between 1999 and 2005, Head of Smaller Companies, Corporate Finance at Hoare Govett between 1994 and 1999, and Director of Corporate Finance at BZW between 1989 and 1994. Her extensive financial knowledge and experience of complex corporate transactions are of particular value to the Board.

Mark McClennon, Non-executive Director (Independent)

Mark McClennonMark McClennon was appointed in May 2017 as Global CIO at Burberry – the British luxury fashion retailer, to lead all aspects of technology. Previous to this he held the role of Global Vice President for IT at Unilever plc., leading IT in relation to the growth agenda for the Unilever group covering marketing, e-commerce, human resources, research and development and sustainability. He joined Unilever in 1993 and held a variety of senior roles across the business. Mark holds a BA (Hons) in pure mathematics from the University of Liverpool and he trained as an accountant. His extensive experience in IT systems and business change has added strength to the skills of the Board in these areas.