Spar UK appoints new operations and strategy director

Spar UK has announced the appointment of Lee Johnson as its new operations and strategy director, which took effect on 17 August.

Johnson, who has joined the retail convenience store chain from Coty, where he was VP for global FP&A and strategic planning, will have responsibility for finance, governance, IT, supply chain and strategic planning.

It is likely Johnson will play a part in continuing Spar’s focus on developing its digital capabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic in response to changing consumer behaviours. In June, Spar International CEO, Tobias Wasmuht, outlined the company’s intention to roll out online retail services to fit the “new ‘low-touch’ economy” prompted by the coronavirus.

New digital services introduced by the chain during the pandemic include a ‘Scan, Pay, Go’ mobile app in Spar and Eurospar stores in Northern Ireland and the online shopping app ‘Snappy Shopper’ across a number of Spar stores in England and Wales.

Prior to his role at Coty, Johnson has held positions at Lego, Microsoft, SC Johnson, and Sara Lee.

Louise Hoste, managing director at Spar UK, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Lee to the business. He has a great breadth of experience in finance, operations and strategy and is a strong addition to our team. He will play a significant role in how we operate and plan in the future.

“The work our wholesale and store teams have done to provide essential products and services to communities’ throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the resilience of our symbol group and the vital role we play in the convenience industry.

“We have been focused on providing independent Spar stores with the best support to run successful businesses. Our wholesale and logistics capabilities, combined with a strong financial position, drive us to invest in the best people for the future.”

Johnson said: “I am very much looking forward to joining the team at Spar UK and cannot wait to get started. The group’s growth strategy is very ambitious and I am very excited to be part of that.”