Ian Taylor has been named as the new head of retail at Spar UK.

Taylor, who takes up the role on 13 August, joins Spar from The Co-operative Group’s farm business, where he was head of commercial operations, sales and marketing.

At The Co-op, he was pivotal in turning the society into a wide-ranging, customer-focused and modern farming operation.

At Spar he will be responsible for increasing store numbers and developing formats through Spar’s ongoing ‘Inspiring Growth’ strategy.

Taylor has an MBA in retailing from Stirling University and retail experience including four years in store management, two years overseeing store formats and three years in retail branding.

“I am very excited to be joining Spar,” he said. “This is a fantastic brand to be working with given Spar’s 55-year history in the UK and the fact that globally Spar is the largest food retailer in the world. I am confident that my experience can help to drive the brand forward.”

Spar UK MD Debbie Robinson added: “Ian’s strong reputation for developing a growing, profitable and sustainable business by creating a strategic partnership approach to protect the security of long-term supply makes him the ideal candidate to join Spar UK in this extremely important and prestigious role.”

Taylor replaces Jon Bleeze, who joined Spar in May 2010 as store development controller from Abel & Cole, where he was head of sales.