Somerfield seeks head marketer

Struggling supermarket chain Somerfield is looking for a marketing director just five months after dismantling its entire group marketing structure.

Somerfield is to replace Richard Smith, former marketing director of the main Somerfield stores division, following his move to the group’s change management team, which is overseeing the sale of a 50 per cent share in Kwik Save stores bought last year.

The restructure in July resulted in marketing director Phil Smith, brands communications director Alan Shepherd and group development director Jonathan Smith losing their jobs (MW July 22 and 29). Shepherd has since become marketing director at rival chain Iceland.

The appointee will hold the most senior marketing position in the company, heading the Somerfield stores and convenience stores divisions.

Somerfield’s 24-7 home shopping operation will continue to be headed by Lisa Riley.

The new marketing director will oversee Somerfield’s &£13m advertising pitch, which is being contested by RPM3, McCann-Erickson, Delaney Lund Knox Warren and one other agency. The review is being conducted by head of external offers Martin Sutherland.

The Kwik Save sell-off comes after the Somerfield reversed its decision to integrate the 800 stores into the Somerfield format last month.

The move – which also involves selling 140 large Somerfield supermarkets – is part of chief executive David Simons’ strategy of focusing on neighbourhood food retailing.

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