Shifts in the retail landscape such as mergers, and increased commercial pressure from Tesco's rapid growth, are causing acceleration in the churn of grocery buyers.

Research conducted for The Grocer's online buyers' forum found that buyers are switching jobs more rapidly, with 60% of participants having been in their current role for less than a year. Only 30% had been in post for longer than two years, while 70% believed that it took a year or less to learn the job.

Rob Seery, manager consultant at recruitment consultancy Nigel Wright, said that increased competition had prompted more short-term thinking on the part of retailers.

"A new buyer for a price-focused retailer is looking to make an immediate impact that will cascade down to the profit line quickly," he said.