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Standard appoints first female CEO

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Standard appoints first female CEO

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Local retail home appliance, electronics and furniture company Standard Distributors (Barbados) Limited has its first female boss.
Effective October 1, Katrina Newton is the organization’s new chief executive officer and is one of two new senior female executives appointed, with Michele Marshall having started as Standard Haggatt Hall store manager in August.
The pair have accumulated decades of expertise in retail, interior design and customer service management and are expected to bring “an energetic and more practical approach to the management of the home retailer”.
“We’re both high-energy and hands-on and this is essential as an example to the rest of the team,” Newton said during a recent interview.
“Both of us have a passion for this industry and I see us working closely together, especially in the purchasing side of the business. Also having a sounding board and being able to openly share opinions is key.
“Michele’s exposure and background with her finely honed skills in interior design is unique and is critical for strongly supporting me in my role.”
Newton, who began her career managing large and successful retail stores in Britain before moving back to Barbados to join the retail sector, said she joined Standard because she had arrived at a point where she was looking for a new challenge.
“In my previous role I had grown the business and improved the customer experience over a period of ten years and needed a new challenge,” she said.
Marshall was sought out by Standard, having impressed them with her ability to transform small spaces. The manager, who worked with a local and regional manufacturer of furniture and custom cabinetry before joining Standard, said: “I was excited when approached for the role and so the decision to join Standard was a no-brainer.”
“I understand the buying patterns of consumers and how Caribbean people, and women in particular, live. I marry this with an understanding of interior design and management and how they work in the Caribbean retail environment.”
Newton believed Standard with its team of 64 employees at Haggatt Hall, Tudor Street and the bargain centre at Meadow Road had a fantastic opportunity to rebrand itself.
She said the company would be expanding its product categories as well as introducing a fresher and more contemporary design aesthetic.
Also, with the challenges in the economy Standard is making its credit process simpler for customers as well presenting various options for their different budget levels.
Commenting on the two appointments, ANSA McAL (Barbados) Limited CEO Nicholas Mouttet said with these additions to the Standard leadership team, “we’re even more excited about what the future holds for the brand”. (SC/PR)