Musgrave Retail Partners GB veteran Martin Swadling has joined rival wholesaler Booker as head of its retail symbol group Premier.

Swadling has worked at Musgrave GB since 1998 in a number of roles, including regional director for the West, and for London and the South East for Londis. Prior to Musgrave, he worked for Balfour News.

In the newly created role at Booker he will help develop and shape Premier to provide more profits for ­retailers and a better consumer experience, reporting to Steve Fox, sales ­director for retail.

In May this year, The Grocer’s Grocery Retail Structure revealed Premier was the biggest symbol ­fascia in the UK by store number, overtaking Spar for the first time, with 2,589 stores to Spar’s 2,551.

“I am excited about how we are moving Premier to the next level,” Swadling said. “Booker is a vibrant company, where the customer is at the heart of the business. After an extensive induction programme where I worked in many Premier stores, I am looking forward to helping our customers grow their business and consolidating Premier’s position as number one symbol group.”

Added Fox: “Martin is a real asset and brings a wealth of experience in symbol retailing. This new role strengthens our Premier team and I am confident that we will continue to build on our success.”