Francis Ball, MD of the UK arm of US C&C giant Costco, is to retire in August.

Ball has been managing director of Costco UK since December 2004.

Prior to taking on the managing director role, he was trading director at Costco. He joined the company shortly after it opened its first UK depot at Thurrock, Essex, in 1993. Prior to Costco he was chief executive of Price Club UK.

In April this year Ball was also named as the new chairman of the FWD, replacing Rodney Hunt, MD of the Today's Group. He has been a member of the FWD council since 2003.

Ball told The Grocer: "I want to retire while I am still fit enough to do other things. It has been a terrific 13 years."

Costco has 17 sites in the UK and is expected to open its 18th site in Sheffield on Thursday (29 June).

According to Costco, the 135,000 sq ft warehouse will offer a wide assortment of food and non food for independents, caterers and offices, with departments including a bakery, fresh meat, fresh produce, deli, photocentre and tyres.