JJO strengthens sales team with senior appointments

KBB furniture manufacturer J and J Ormerod (JJO) has named Jon Thelwell as sales and marketing director and appointed Kevin Sullivan as national sales manager.

27 Apr, 23

KBB furniture manufacturer J and J Ormerod (JJO) has named Jon Thelwell as sales and marketing director and appointed Kevin Sullivan as national sales manager.

JJO strengthens sales team with appointments

Thelwell has worked for the company since August 2022 and prior to that was sales director of Paula Rosa Manhattan.

His career has seen him work for companies such as Knauf, Jewson – where he was managing director of showrooms – Crestwood Fitting and Moores Furniture Group.

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Speaking about his new role, John Thelwell said: “I knew about JJO before I got the job and, although I had not bought from them, I had worked for competitors.

“So I knew the company had a good reputation, offered a good service and was a long-standing player in the industry.

“Coming here, everyone has been welcoming and I soon found out that it is an organisation that is built on people who care about the business, care about the future and value its history.

“JJO has got a lot of customers who value the service that we offer and that is really important in what is a very competitive industry, it is also good foundation from which to grow the business.”

He added: “I want to make JJO’s kitchen range stand out in what is a crowded marketplace and we will also be giving retailers the tools they need to be better able to sell our products.

“My biggest challenge at JJO will be to ensure that our product offer develops to provide our customers with exactly what they are looking for.”

Kevin Sullivan started work in the kitchen industry in 1988 at Texas Homecare, before moving on to Wickes and then Magnet Kitchens.

He spent the past 24 years working for Magnet, where his last role was regional director responsible for 41 showrooms.

He said: “I know I need to build the sales team at JJO to allow the business to continue to grow in a very competitive market.”

Sullivan will oversee a country-wide workforce of eight kitchen and bedroom sales people and four who sell bathrooms.

He commented: “In sales, there are hunters, who seek new clients, and farmers, who grow their existing customers. It can be quite lonely as an area sales manager and that is why I want to build a resilient team.

“My main philosophy is to make it easier for our sales team and customers to sell the product to the end consumer. To achieve this, we are looking to introduce new tools for the sales managers which will help them to do that.

“I was very impressed with the scale of the operation when I started at JJO and the people I have talked to really care about what they are doing.

“I have a lot of experience in the kitchen industry and in retailing and will use that to build a strong sales team, not just to show best practice but to share knowledge and make sure all team members have a voice.”

Commenting on the changes to the sales team, managing director Stephen Greenhalgh said: “I would like to say thank you to our sales and marketing director John Pollitt who, over the last 10 years, has done a fantastic job and cemented our position as a leading supplier of kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms to the independent retail sector; with service that is unrivalled in the market.

“John P has decided to hang up his tape measure and we had to look for a replacement – but Jon T is a perfect fit within the culture of our business, his experience, knowledge and ideas will lead JJO not just to change direction but to change gear and to drive the business forward.

“One of Jon T’s first jobs was to appoint a national sales manager and we are delighted that, in Kevin, he has brought in someone with a wealth of knowledge and national sales know how.”