Bargain Booze has appointed Waitrose’s director of convenience, Diana Hunter, as its new CEO.

Hunter will join the business after eight years at Waitrose, where she was responsible for developing new store formats and concepts before heading up its convenience store operations. She previously spent 13 years at Sainsbury’s.

She will start the new role in February, with acting MD and former trading director Keith Webb taking the position of deputy CEO.

“Diana has an excellent record of developing high quality retail formats and bringing innovation to the high street. Her skills and experience will further enhance the ability of our management team to drive the business to the next level and offer best-in-class store formats to our franchisees.

“We are investing significantly in consumer research, marketing and merchandising to ensure that Bargain Booze and all of our retail formats have strong customer appeal and continue to compete effectively in an evolving retail landscape,” said chairman Roger Pedder.

Some 40% of sales across Bargain Booze’s 670 franchised stores are from non-alcohol lines - a figure that was closer to 25% five years ago.

Marketing agency McCann Manchester is conducting research into consumers attitudes towards its Bargain Booze, Bargain Booze Plus, Select Convenience and Thorougoods fascia, as it looks to expand further beyond its North West heartland.

Bargain Booze’s biggest advertising campaign will break on national television next month and is expected to be seen by 20 million people.