Ian Taylor, a senior executive at UK retailer The Co-operative Group, is to join Spar International as head of retail for its business in the country.

Taylor, head of commercial operations for The Co-operative Farms, the retailer's farming business, will take his new role at Spar UK on 13 August. He replaces John Bleeze, who resigned from the position.

Spar said Taylor will look to increase the number of its outlets in the UK and develop its store formats.

Debbie Robinson, MD of Spar UK, said: "Ian's strong reputation for developing a growing, profitable and sustainable business by creating a strategic partnership approach to protect the security of long term supply makes him the ideal candidate to join SPAR UK in this extremely important and prestigious role."

Taylor added: "This is a fantastic brand to be working with given Spar's 55-year history in the UK and the fact that globally Spar is the largest food retailer in the world, and I am confident that my experience can help to drive the brand forward."