Spar UK has appointed Aldi’s buying director Vicki Reay to the new role of commercial director.

Reay will take up the role in May, when she joins the retailer from Aldi, where she has worked for the past 10 years. At Aldi she was responsible for category management, advertising, brand guidelines, sourcing, trials, market analysis, training and development and supplier management. She has been buying director since 2005, managing a portfolio of chilled products and non-food special lines.

The commercial director role has been created at Spar UK to lead and develop the central buying team. Reay’s remit will be to develop relationships with suppliers and she will be in regular contact with the trading directors of Spar’s five wholesalers. She will also develop Spar’s own-label and fresh food ranges “through a forward looking and creative approach”, a Spar spokeswoman said.

Reay is the first major appointment for new Spar UK MD Debbie Robinson, who joined the company in September last year.

“We are delighted to announce that Vicki is joining Spar UK,” said Robinson. “Vicki has a wealth of experience globally and nationally, operating at a senior level in possibly the most competitive sector within grocery industry.

“Her appointment as our new commercial director signals the start of a new era, with a vision for the future that positions Spar at the forefront of UK convenience retailing.

“I am confident that Vicki will fully embrace this unique role within Spar and have a fantastic impact on the Spar business.”

Meanwhile, AF Blakemore has unveiled a board of directors for Blakemore Retail - the new name for its company-owned store division. Geoff Hallam has been appointed MD, Stuart Adkin deputy MD, Mike Boardman trading director, Chris Bacon store operations director and Derek Clifton FD.