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.

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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.”