Co-op names general manager of retail arm

The Co-operative Group has promoted Debbie Robinson to general manager for retail brands. She takes charge of all corporate marketing for its 1,100 food stores.

Robinson reports to John Bowes, chief general manager marketing, and will be responsible for own-label brands and the look of the Welcome Co-op convenience stores and the Co-op market town supermarkets. Robinson, who was previously marketing manager retail brands, replaces Wendy Rigley. Rigley becomes director of corporate affairs. There is no change to Ged Carter’s role as general manager retail marketing. He remains responsible for advertising and in store communications.

The Co-op Group, formed from the members of the Co-operative Wholesale Society and Co-operative Retail Services, is thought to be preparing to buy Alldays, the debt-laden convenience store operator with 600 outlets, for about &£150m.

It is understood the group was considering buying Budgens earlier this year, but the store chain was taken over by Irish food wholesaler Musgrave. It is understood the group is keen to expand through acquisition.

The Co-operative Group is expected to unveil strong first-half growth in sales and profits today (Wednesday), boosted by a good performance at its convenience stores.

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