Spar UK has announced former Walmart and Co-op Group executive Louise Hoste as its new managing director.

Louise Hoste appointed Managing Director of SPAR UK Ltd

Hoste replaces Debbie Robinson, who took over as Central England Co-op chief executive in March.

In her recent role as customer offer director at the Co-op, Hoste relaunched the Co-op brand across the food ranges and worked on the ‘Closer To You’ strategy supporting the local and community agenda.

She previously worked for Walmart in the UK, Canada and Chile in commercial, customer and general management roles, before moving to Brakes Foodservice, where she was director of category and pricing.

Spar UK chairman Martin Agnew said: “We are excited to have Louise join Spar. She brings senior level expertise working with suppliers across the industry and also has a passion for consumer led initiatives.

“Louise joins Spar at a time when the business continues to drive innovation across the convenience retailing sector. We look forward to welcoming Louise to our business.”

Commenting on her new appointment, Hoste said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to work with the leading convenience symbol group championing independent retailers and the local communities within which they serve.

“My focus will be to continue to drive the Spar brand forward increasing its relevance with customers and developing the offer to drive sales and profit.”

Hoste will take up the position by October 2019, replacing interim mds Chris Lewis and Jackie Mackenzie.