Spar UK has appointed its first ever chief information officer (CIO), as the convenience chain looks to increase its focus on data insight.

Jackie Mackenzie will assume the CIO board-level role today (Monday 14 March) and she will be responsible for implementing and reporting Spar financial accounts, management information, supply chain and technology operations.

The new recruit joins the convenience retail chain from Morrisons where she held the position of director of category development and, more recently, operations development director for trading. She was previously a general manager at Asda.

Essential Retail understands that Spar's long-term IT controller, Roy Ford, is taking on a greater responsibility for the retailer's payments in the UK alongside running his own consultancy.

Reflecting on the CIO appointment, Spar UK managing director Debbie Robinson said: "As competition intensifies and costs increase, we need to strengthen our senior team with a broad thinker and experienced retail professional.

"With Jackie's help, we will be better able to provide analysis on consumer insight, market data and competitor intelligence, to make sure Spar stays at the forefront of UK convenience retailing."

Mackenzie will also help contribute to Spar's future direction and financial management, helping develop strategies to grow the group's wholesalers' and retailers' profits.

Spar's current finance director, Richard Hill, has decided to step down from his position and move into the role of finance controller.