A.F. Blakemore & Son has appointed David Cooke to the newly-created role of group commercial director.

David Cooke

Reporting into group CEO Jerry Marwood, Cooke’s role will be to create and implement a new commercial strategy aligned with the group’s five-year plan and will “entail end-to-end accountability for the company’s commercial function, with a focus on developing supplier partnerships, managing commercial trading terms, developing retail propositions and accelerating the rollout of A.F. Blakemore’s fresh food strategy”.

Cooke has a background in trading, proposition and product development gained through stints with national and international organisations such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, health & beauty retailer A.S. Watson and Dutch store chain HEMA.

At HEMA, he was director of food, health & beauty, overseeing divisions with a combined turnover of circa 500 million euros. Prior to that, Cooke was head of branded goods at A.S. Watson (Europe) Group AG, where he was responsible for the management of the commercial A-Brand partnerships across 12 European markets.

On Cooke’s appointment, Marwood said: “I am pleased to welcome David Cooke to the Blakemore team.

“He brings significant commercial experience in developing strategic relationships with suppliers as well as a background in the development of exciting food propositions. David is a great fit for our culture, having been attracted to A.F. Blakemore because of our values and approach to responsible business.”