Co-op merges teams and cuts senior marketers

The Co-operative Group is to merge its existing buying and marketing teams in its food business under a single leadership and axe the role of director of food marketing, held by Debbie Robinson.

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The changes will also see a switch in emphasis from corporate brand marketing to operational and commercial activity within each of the Co-op’s major businesses. Most of the group marketing department will be dismantled.

The restructure sees the responsibility for day-to-day brand delivery, research and management moved to each individual business unit. These include food, legal services and pharmacy. The Co-op’s travel and financial services businesses already operate in this way.

The Group marketing department will retain a monitoring and governance role to ensure the Co-op’s universal brand standards are maintained across all the business units.

Director of marketing Patrick Allen (pictured) will head the Group marketing department and develop customer propositions relevant to its growing membership base.

The new merged food department will be headed by Sean Toal, who will move from his existing role as director of food retail operations to take the title of commercial director.

Group marketing roles to go include head of brand, head of identity and standards development, head of customer strategy and head of brand communications.

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