Debbie Robinson has finally started as Spar UK managing director, nearly six months after being announced as Jerry Marwood’s successor.

The former Co-operative Group director said she would be focusing on the changing needs of its customers and identifying key points of difference to drive commercial benefit for the Spar brand.

“Spar is a fantastic entrepreneurial business with vast experience in the convenience sector,” she added.

Meanwhile, Martin Agnew, joint managing director of the Henderson Group, has replaced AF Blakemore managing director Peter Blakemore as chairman of the Spar Food Distributors (SFD) board. Blakemore will continue to be a director on the board and will represent Spar in the UK on the International Spar board.

Agnew was previously chairman of the National Guild and this role will be taken by James Hall & Co director Dominic Hall. The position is always held by a director of the SFD board.

“The Guild has been a major factor in the ongoing success of Spar in the UK,” Hall said. “It has created the opportunity for Spar to reflect the true partnership between the wholesaler, retailer and central office.”