Safeway takes on Boots chief

Safeway has lured Boots The Chemist director of merchandising and marketing George Charters as its managing director for marketing and trading.

Charters replaces Logan Taylor, who will leave Safeway in August after 19 years service. The supermarket chain says Taylor is “considering options outside the company”.

Charters will become the senior executive in charge of marketing. He will join the boards of Argyll Group and Safeway Stores next week.

Safeway marketing director Roger Partington will report to Charters.

City analysts have applauded the appointment of Charters. He spent five years at Boots The Chemist, and oversaw the relaunch of the No7 brand.

Prior to that, he was employed for 12 years at Mars. Analysts say his expertise will be valuable to Safeway’s strategy of expanding the number of pharmacies in its new stores.

“It helps Safeway to have a retailer on the board – the rest are mainly corporate financiers and people with little direct retail experience. Charters has a good mix of experience with food and non-food,” says one analyst.

Boots The Chemist has replaced Charters with David Kneale, general manager of the beauty and personal care sector.

Kneale takes up the post of director of merchandising and marketing immediately.

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