Retail Excellence announces new Chair & Vice Chair

13th March 2019

Mr Joe Barrett, COO & co-owner of Applegreen PLC becomes new Chairman; award-winning boutique owner Jean McCabe takes up Vice-Chair

Ireland’s largest retail representative body, Retail Excellence today (Wed 13 March 2019) is pleased to announce the appointment of Joe Barrett as its new Chairman. Mr. Barrett will succeed J.P. Kennedy (MD of Tilestyle) as chairman of the Retail Excellence Board when

Joe Barrett, newly appointed Chair of Retail Excellence Ireland and Jean McCabe, newly appointed Deputy Chair of Retail Excellence Ireland, pictured together at their announcement held in Dublin. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

Mr. Kennedy retires as chair on 1 July.

In another new Board appointment, Ms. Jean McCabe, owner of award-winning Ennis and Galway boutiques Willow will take the position of Vice-Chair of the Retail Excellence Board.

Speaking about the new appointments, Group CEO of Retail Excellence David Fitzsimons said:

“I am delighted to welcome such respected and admired individuals as Joe and Jean to lead Retail Excellence in a time of uncertainty but also opportunity.  It’s appropriate that our new leadership team represent large and small retailers, and each new member brings insights from their respective sectors which added to their individual skillset, wealth of ability and experience will perfectly complement our existing members”.

“I have been fortunate to have worked with both Joe and Jean for several years as Board members, and I have no doubt that the future of our community of retailers is in safe hands. they will make a valuable contribution in shaping and developing future plans, direction and policies in tandem with existing members of the Board”.

“We have much planned for the remainder of this year and in the longer term to try and resolve the huge issues facing retail in these uncertain times. It is testament to the strength of our organisation that we can call on the quality and advice of our board members to come up with solutions to the challenges facing with us”.

“I would also like to thank our outgoing Chair, JP Kennedy for his dedication, energy, leadership in his term as chair” David Fitzsimons concluded.

Joe Barrett joined Applegreen PLC in its second year of operation with a strong background in retail and fast-moving consumer goods having worked for Tesco and John West Foods. Mr. Barrett has over 20 years’ experience in the retail industry and has a key responsibility for management and developing the Group’s retail and food offerings. Mr. Barrett has been instrumental in developing the Group’s partnerships with its international food brand partners. He has a B.Comm and MBA from University College Dublin.

After pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Limerick Jean McCabe created the Willow brand and established her first fashion retail store in Ennis. A second store in Galway and a successful on-line presence willow.ie soon followed. Jean is former President of Ennis Chamber of Commerce, winner of Retail Excellence Store of the Year 2019 and is passionate about Town Centre Revival as part of the work of the Heritage Council of Ireland.