MD steps aside to travel
Change at the top at Freeze Pro Shop
Change of roles: Al Conroy and Jim Berkeley
Edinburgh’s Freeze Pro Shop, the outdoor adventure retailer, will be making a change of managing director as Al Conroy steps down after nine years to be succeeded by Jim Berkeley.
Mr Berkeley brings experience from big players in the online and physical retail environment – Chain Reaction Cycles, Halfords and Cycle Republic.
Having started his career in snowsports retail, Mr Berkeley will pilot the 18-year-old firm through the next stage of its growth.
Turnover more than doubled to £6.1 million last year, helped in part by the weak pound and a favourable export environment, and underpinned by growth in the surf and outdoor equipment segments. Just under 70% of revenue came from foreign markets.
This enabled Freeze to make the move to a bigger warehouse and shop premises at South Gyle, on the edge of Edinburgh.
Speaking about his new appointment, Mr Berkeley said: “I’m very excited to get my teeth into the role. The business is in great shape, and there are a number of exciting developments on the horizon.
“I’m looking forward to joining the team, working with our existing brands and suppliers and leading it through the next phase of its journey”.
Mr Conroy retains his position on the board, along with Freeze founder Neil Mitchell. The outgoing MD is likely to return to the business in some capacity following a year of travelling.
Mr Berkeley will be supported in his new role by the existing Freeze senior management team and around 40 full-time and seasonal staff. The business continues to enjoy invaluable financial support and guidance from Scottish Enterprise.