Yates’s Wine Lodges, the retail division of independent pub and drinks group Yates’s plc, is appointing a new marketing director in a drive to become a more retail-led operation.
Julie Brook, former head of brands marketing for the Greenalls pub and restaurant division, has been ap-pointed to the new role.
She will have a seat on the board of the group’s retail division and is expected to look at above-the-line advertising for the brand at a later stage.
Her appointment follows the arrival of George Marcall as managing director in January. Marcall is the former group sales and marketing director at Airtours and Marks & Spencer ex-marketing manager for food.
He says: “Julie is bringing extensive experience of the licensed industry and the marketing mix, including TV advertising and the creation of the Greenalls loyalty card scheme.
“We are moving to being a marketing-led company where the consumer is our main focus.”
The group has raised 16m through a sale-and-leaseback joint venture to allow it to continue its rapid expansion. Yates’s Wine Lodges currently has 74 sites and has earmarked a further 11 to open by the end of next March.
Recent marketing initiatives include selling pints of bitter at the same price nationally and offering refunds on meals which are not served within 15 minutes. The group is testing a small number of outlets called Watling Street Inns, which are directly targeted at adults and do not encourage children.