From September, he will assume operational control for the retailer’s 231 stores and five Sam’s Club warehouses in the country, covering areas such as store development and logistics.
Cheesewright joined Asda’s grocery division from Mars Confectionery following Asda’s acquisition by Wal-Mart in 1999. He worked closely with the US retailer to devise and implement Asda’s pricing policy. He also spearheaded the formation of its
merchandising function before becoming deputy trading director. He was promoted to logistics director in November 2002 and has spent much of his time helping to integrate appropriate Wal-Mart supply chain systems into Asda’s operations. Referring to his current projects, he said: “My main focus this year has been on instore availability. I’ve been involved in helping to design the way we flow product from the back to the front of stores.”
Cheesewright contrasted his role in Canada with his UK function. “One of the biggest differences is geography. Where I might spend five to six hours driving between stores in the UK, in Canada it’s more like five or six days.” He added: “There’s also a different business structure.” Asda expects to announce Cheesewright’s replacement before he takes up his new role.