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Spar name Debbie Robinson as new MD


Former JJB Sports and Co-operative Marketing Director Debbie Robinson has today been named as the new Managing Director of Spar UK.

Robinson will take over from current boss Jerry Marwood this summer, after he announced his decision to stand down from the company last November.

Responsible for the “good with food” campaign whilst working for Co-op Food, Robinson left the grocer in September 2010 to take up the marketing brief at beleaguered sports retailer JJB.

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.”

Having spent over 25 year working in the retail industry, she helped develop award winning formats whilst at Co-op including layout, macro space allocation, merchandising and design for petrol forecourts, convenience stores and supermarkets.

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.”

During a tough year for the sector, retail sales at Spar grew 1.66 per cent year-on-year in the 12 months to January 31st and trade in fresh foods increased by 6.59 per cent during the same period.

In a recent interview with Retail Gazette Marwood was positive that Spar could keep on growing over the next few years, despite many of the major grocers targeting the convenience market to expand into.

On today’s appointment 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.”

Published on Monday 14 March by Editorial Assistant

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