The Co-op creates insight role to unify business

The Co-operative Group has created a new director of insight and planning role to help bring its financial business closer to the rest of the group.

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Former MasterCard Advisors chief Neil Carden will take up the role and report directly to recently appointed group marketing director Gill Barr.

Carden will take responsibility for customer research and analysis, targeting and measuring the effectiveness of the group’s marketing activities.

He is tasked with developing the Group’s customer proposition across all the business units including food retailing, financial services, funerals, pharmacy, motors and online electricals business.

Carden has experience in retail, banking and payment systems and has also held a number of consultancy roles within organisations such as KPMG.

Barr says: “Neil has a proven track record of success in providing businesses with the insight they need to formulate effective marketing strategies and he will make an invaluable addition to the team in this senior new role.”

The Co-op painted a gloomy picture of the retail landscape yesterday as CEO Peter Marks said conditions were the worst he had seen in 40 years of retailing. The group posted a 10% fall in underlying operating profits to £275.1m for the six months to 2 July.

The group’s food business reported a fall in sales to £3.7bn in the half year, down from £3.9bn the previous year.

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