George, the clothing brand owned by Asda, has appointed James Condon as its marketing chief. Asda’s press office was unable to give details of Condon’s employment history.
Condon replaces head of marketing Claire Bulman, who has joined Girobank, part of the commercial banking arm of Alliance & Leicester, in the same role.
Condon’s appointment comes as Asda starts to test-market standalone George outlets, to take on retailers such as Next, Matalan and New Look (MW June 12). The pilot is being conducted over a 12-month period at two sites – one in Croydon and the other in Leeds.
Asda hopes that the stores will lead to shoppers making purchases of George clothing and shoes that they might not have done in a supermarket environment. If the trial goes well then the concept will be rolled out in high streets across the country.
The move has led to rumours that Asda could make an acquisition to help sell George products in retail outlets other than the supermarket chain. And there has been speculation that Asda has been in informal talks with Matalan about a possible purchase of the edge-of-town retailer for about &£1bn.
George Davis, the man who created Next, helped launch George at Asda before going on to develop Per Una for Marks & Spencer.