Somerfield restructure claims marketing chief

Somerfield group marketing director Gill McComas has left following a restructure.

It is thought that McComas does not have a job to go to and the company is not seeking a replacement. Instead, her job has been split, with responsibility for brand marketing for both Somerfield and Kwik Save passing to Ed Owen, previously head of the upmarket Somerfield Market Fresh stores.

As group brand director, Owen will report to group retail director Katie Bickerstaffe and oversee Somerfield’s Saver Card scheme, local marketing and press and PR. Owen also has responsibility for store formats, including the Somerfield Essentials convenience stores.

Director of store formats Kieron Mayes becomes director of customer offer, taking on McComas’ other responsibilities for range, price and promotions.

A former McVitie’s marketing director, McComas joined Somerfield in 2002 (MW September 26, 2002) as brand director for Kwik Save. She introduced an own-brand food range and launched a &£7m advertising campaign through Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, using the strapline “Now that’s what I call a Kwik Save”, before being promoted to group marketing director last year. M&C Saatchi handles the Somerfield advertising account.

Last month, Somerfield, which operates more than 1,200 stores, dismissed a &£1bn takeover bid from Baugur and struck a deal with Texaco to take over more than 140 petrol stations. In January, the retailer reported a rise in interim pre-exceptional operating profits – from &£17.2m to &£32.7m – for the 28 weeks to November 6, 2004.

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