Debbie Robinson has been appointed Managing Director of SPAR (UK) Limited and will be joining at the end of the summer.
Commenting on Robinson’s appointment Peter Blakemore, SPAR Chairman said: “We are delighted that Debbie is joining the SPAR organisation. She brings with her a wealth of retail experience and her passion and knowledge will be invaluable to our business.”
Debbie Robinson will be based from SPAR’s central office in Harrow. In her previous role as Director of Food Marketing at the Co-operative Group, she developed award winning formats including layout, macro space allocation, merchandising and design for petrol forecourts, convenience stores and supermarkets. She delivered an extensive refit programme delivering significant return on investment and also developed a 3,000 plus own branded product range.
She was also General Manager for Brand and Retail responsible for all store locational and acquisition strategies, format designs and ranging.
Robinson also developed the Co-operative’s “good with food” campaign including TV, radio and press communications. She is well known for her brave and pioneering approach to Responsible Retailing across a broad range of issues including animal welfare, fairtrade, the environment, diet and health.
Speaking on the announcement Robinson said: “I am delighted to be taking on this role; SPAR is a fantastic business with a regional structure that is ideally suited to today’s customer needs. My priority will be to continue to drive the SPAR brand forward increasing its relevance with customers and developing the offer to drive sales and profit.”
Jerry Marwood said: “This is a fantastic hire for SPAR. Debbie’s appointment is in line with the further development of SPAR. Our retail estate is growing and our SPAR retailers are positive about their prospects and still continue to invest locally. I am very confident that Debbie will be an excellent contributor to the business.”
SPAR retail sales for the nine months to the end of January have been solid but the organisation says that the economic climate is still challenging with more and more competition coming into the convenience sector, and this will continue well into 2012.
Retail sales for the organisation rose by 1.66% year-on-year to 31 January 2011. The increase has come as retailers are focusing on increasing the value and volume of promotions on offer to their customers: ensuring that customers are able to get better-than-ever value closer to home.