Somerfield wields axe in new move

Somerfield has made another senior marketer redundant and appointed the man who will lead the company’s advertising agency review.

It is the latest in a series of reshuffles at the troubled supermarket chain.

Paul Hutton, associate director with responsibility for brand identity, is to leave the company in the near future, as Somerfield chief executive David Simons completes the dismantling of the company’s group marketing structure.

However, Hutton will continue to work at the chain for the next three months to complete various in-store marketing projects.

Group marketing director Phil Smith, brands communications director Alan Shepherd and group development director Jonathan Smith have all left the chain in recent weeks.

The moves follow an 11 per cent fall in sales at Kwik Save stores, which were converted into the Somerfield format following the two chains’ &£1.4bn merger last year. Last month, Simons announced that only 450 of the 800 Kwik Save stores would be rebranded, in the wake of disastrous results.

As part of an attempt to reverse falling sales, Simons has restructured the group into four units – Somerfield stores, Kwik Save stores, home shopping and forecourt supermarkets.

In the Somerfield stores division, the largest of the four units, Martin Sutherland has been named head of customer offer (external).

He will lead an advertising agency review following the resignation of Leo Burnett last week (MW August 12). A company spokeswoman could not confirm when the review would take place.

She says: “We are waiting for things to settle down.”

In other moves, Ian Hall will be Somerfield stores’ head of customer offer (internal) leading point-of-sale projects, while Gerry Bagnall, formerly marketing manager with Kwik Save, will become marketing executive in charge of the Kwik Save stores.

see “Cover story”

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