The First Stop network has recruited two retail business consultants to complete its support team for new and existing partners, as it accelerates plans to open 220 centres by 2024.
The First Stop area map for Britain is now fully populated with the appointments of Nick Salt (Northern England and Scotland) and Shaun Sweeney (South West England and South Wales).
Nick Salt has 12 years’ experience in automotive wholesale for Kings Road Tyres as an account manager and a further three years at International Tyres in a similar role.
There is barely a tyre size he hasn’t got an understanding of having worked in the commercial world with truck, bus, off-the-road and industrial tyres in the past, but the pull to passenger products and a new journey with First Stop was too compelling to ignore.
He said: “When working in previous roles, I was heavily involved with the Bridgestone brand which was always so highly respected. I gained first-hand experience of the premium quality of its products over the years too, so to work for First Stop and Bridgestone has always been the ultimate aim.”
Shaun Sweeney has joined the First Stop retail network in a return to the industry he originally made his name in, when working in franchised service departments for Chrysler, Mitsubishi and Mercedes Benz.
The 45-year-old from Bridgend then enjoyed a fruitful career in the food retail industry, working as an area sales manager for Delice de France and a national accounts manager for the Rich Products Corporation, helping food industry professionals compete in foodservice and retail. Other roles include spells at Mars and McCain frozen food.
Upon returning to the automotive sector, Shaun said he was excited to be joining First Stop at a time when the network is evolving so rapidly with a new corporate identity and dealer philosophy – with plans to grow significantly over the next four years.
Shaun said: “This is a massive opportunity for me, as I am joining First Stop at the beginning its journey to increase its presence in the UK. To help the network achieve its goals here is something that I am extremely excited about.
“My primary focus will be on supporting our existing dealers with help on growing sales, while I will also be bringing new dealers on board. Creating the right customer experience is vital and I want to support our dealers with this. Both industries are demanding arenas but by understanding the needs of the end-user, you can create a similarly memorable experience that customers will keep coming back to.
First Stop’s Retail Manager Mark Widdows said: “We’re really excited about the team we now have in place. Nick and Shaun bring unique skill-sets to the business and I know they’ll play an instrumental role in growing the network and attracting partners that will push us on to the next level.”