John Baines, Unitas trading director and industry veteran, retires

John Baines

Unitas Wholesale said its trading director John Baines has retired on 27 May, after 40 years working in the industry in both wholesale and retail channels.

He had announced his decision to step down from the role in September last year.

Baines has played a leading role in the buying group since he joined Nisa/Today’s in 1994. As part of the senior team he was pivotal in working with the executive in both the 2012 demerger of Today’s from Nisa and the 2018 merger of Today’s Group and Landmark Wholesale to form Unitas Wholesale.

Baines was also recognised by the wholesale trade body the FWD for his service to wholesale at their 2021 annual awards with an Outstanding Contribution Gold Medal.

He said: “I have spent many enjoyable years working in the wholesale sector and have made many friends along the way; however, I am now looking forward to spending quality time with my family and particularly my young grandchildren who have arrived over the last three years”.

John Kinney, managing director of Unitas, added: “John is a hugely valued member of Unitas and the wider wholesale community and his knowledge and experience will be missed by both the Unitas team and the channel, however, after many years of great service I fully respect John’s wishes to retire to spend time with his wife and family, wish him a long and happy retirement, and thank him for the support he has given me personally, his colleagues in the buying group and the wider industry”.

Aoife Kenny will officially commence her role as commercial director in September 2022, with Cheryl Hope reporting to her as director of trading and development. Hope took up her post in the middle of May 2022.