Budgens has recruited Paul Mildenstein, group retail operations director of T&S Stores, as managing director of Budgens Local.

Mildenstein, 41, replaces Norman Kears, who left to join Somerfield in a two-year post to explore franchise opportunities, new business and high street expansion (The Grocer, August 9, p13).

Before joining T&S Stores, Mildenstein was operations director of Costa Coffee and before that he was director of operations and service quality at Whitbread.

Eoin McGettigan, executive chairman of Musgrave UK, owner of Budgens said: “It is three years since Budgens Local was launched and we have developed a concept which has proved highly successful. The future for smaller independent stores is in fresh food and food-to-go and our infrastructure is geared to serving those stores.

“Musgrave has more than a century of experience supporting progressive, independent retailers,” he added.