Sainsbury’s buying director James Bailey is set to leave the business as the retailer restructures its fresh food department.
The Grocer reported last month that Sainsbury’s was splitting its fresh food department in two, creating a new business unit for ‘value-added’ fresh food covering counters, bakery, concessions, food to go, food ordering and cafés as well as its traditional fresh food team.
The new unit will be headed up by Jon Bye while director of fresh food Adrian Cook is set to leave the business. The Grocer understands Sainsbury’s has already hired a new fresh food head, who is set to join from a rival retailer.
Sainsbury’s said at the time Bailey would retain responsibility for grocery however he has now decided to depart.
A replacement has not yet been announced but The Grocer understands this is likely to be an internal appointment.
Bailey has worked for Sainsbury’s for nearly 18 years, most recently spending seven years as a buying director. During his time at the retailer he has been credited with playing a key role in Sainsbury’s switch from multibuy promotions to more of an everyday low pricing strategy.
He also led the drive to work with more startups and challenger brands, culminating in the establishment of the Future Brands team in 2017.
Bailey also currently acts in an advisory role for Old Spike Roastery which roasts, packs and distributes coffee to help the UK’s homeless community, and technology firm Localz specialising in last-mile fulfilment solutions.