Somerfield axes director in shake up

Somerfield business development director Mark Thurgood has been squeezed out in a shake-up following the collapse of the supermarket chain’s Kwik Save sale.

Thurgood was regarded as the Somerfield group’s rebranding expert and spent more than 20 years at the company. He leaves with no job to go to. The company refused to discuss the terms of Thurgood’s departure, but confirmed he was not sacked.

A company statement says: “Thurgood has become the latest casualty in Somerfield’s management changes as the new chief executive Alan Smith cancelled any further store conversions.”

Somerfield this month abandoned the sale of its 350 Kwik Save stores, having decided instead to retain the store name and attempt to turn the struggling business around.

Thurgood oversaw the rebranding of more than 600 stores when Gateway was bought by Somerfield in 1993. He was named store improvement executive in 1998. His departure follows a group decision to end the rebranding of Kwik Save stores to Somerfield.

Somerfield has yet to name a replacement for marketing director Alan Shepherd, who quit to take a similar role at Iceland. Emma Woollett, former group development executive for convenience stores, becomes marketing director of Kwik Save.

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