Richard Lancaster, the trading and marketing director of Sainsbury's convenience business, is a serious contender to take up the role of managing director of Netto UK, The Grocer can reveal.

Lancaster, who lives in the north east of England, said that he had made a "lifestyle decision" not to take part in the move to Sainsbury's Holborn HQ in London when it relocates its convenience store operations from Hull in Yorkshire later this year.

He has since talked to a number of parties, including Pontefract-based Netto, about a role that would let him stay in the north east.

Netto has appointed Mortom Moberg as interim managing director of its UK business until a replacement for Claus Waedeled is found.