Alexander Simpson

Alex Simpson

B&M has recruited Amazon UK’s former Groceries Supply Code of Practice compliance officer Alex Simpson as its general counsel.

Simpson moved from Amazon to B&M in August, after nearly fours years at the online giant, including its transition to compliance with GSCOP.

He has previously held the positions of head of legal and general counsel & company secretary at Asda, where he spent nearly 10 years.

His move from Asda to Amazon as UK legal director & associate general counsel in 2020 was seen as a boost for Amazon’s continued inroads into grocery in the UK.

He was there as Amazon overhauled its delisting practices and payment terms in an effort to improve them in May 2022, following its addition to the list of retailers policed by the Groceries Code Adjudicator earlier that year. The new provisions included ensuring all suppliers had the opportunity to review delisting decisions with Simpson. Amazon also carried out GSCOP training for its entire UK buying team.

It’s an area in which Amazon remains under pressure to improve, having come bottom in the 2022 GCA annual supplier survey – the first in which it was included – with only 20% of respondents saying it consistently complied with the code.

B&M – which was added to the list of GCA designated retailers in 2018, as it broke the Competition & Markets Authority’s threshold of £1bn in grocery sales – came third in the latest survey, with 49% of respondents saying it consistently complied with the code.

B&M’s latest trading update posted like-for-like sales growth of 9.2% in the first quarter to 24 June, crediting both grocery and general merchandise with a strong performance. Group revenues were up 13.5% to £1.3bn.

B&M and Simpson were contacted for comment.