Thain Coventry, the buying controller for The Grocer Top 50 convenience chain Smile Stores, has left to join sandwich retailer Benjys Group as retail director.
Coventry also had buying responsibility for Smile Stores’ parent company, T&A Symonds. He headed the group buying team for its wholesale business that distributes tobacco, confectionery and groceries to convenience stores, forecourt shops, CTNs and leisure outlets.
Coventry was previously the buying and marketing controller for Balfour and helped transform the predominantly CTN group to a convenience chain after it was bought by former One Stop managers in February 2000.
T&A Symonds completed the acquisition of five convenience stores this week. The company is seeking a replacement for Coventry and is looking for a senior buyer to implement a new buying strategy for the growing Smile Stores chain. They will report directly to chief executive Jeremy Symonds.