M&S has named Alex Freudmann as its new managing director of food after Stuart Machin has taken up the job of chief executive.
The retailer announced on Monday that Freudmann, who is currently the managing director of Australian alcohol seller Dan Murphy, would lead the supermarket’s grocery arm from November.
As of 1 November, CEO Machin will pass on his responsibilities overseeing the food division to Freudmann.
Freudmann’s CV includes roles at the UK’s largest supermarket Tesco and Australian supermarket chain Coles.
Freudmann said: “M&S Food is a unique and very special business with world-leading food values, and I’ve always had huge respect for the brand. I’ve watched how the business has been transformed over the past few years from afar.
“The team has done a great job of building a bigger, better Food business through investing in trusted value and core categories while maintaining the outstanding quality and innovation the brand is famous for.”
New CEO Machin is due to trouser a basic salary of £896,000, according to the supermarket’s annual report.
It comes as supermarkets are vying to retain and gain market share by appealing to consumers looking for affordable grocery shops.
Last month, the supermarket issued a stark warning against upcoming inflationary headwinds, causing its share price to dive.
In a forecast, M&S highlighted substantial inflation in both cost of goods sold and operating costs including fuel, power, building materials and maintenance.
Due to historic inflation, customers’ spending capacity was “under pressure,” M&S said, with the supermarket anticipating an “adverse impact on volumes due to price inflation, slowing the rate of sales growth.”
Food cost inflation is being driven not just by global supply issues but also labour shortages, border and customs-related costs, and in some cases reduction in UK capacity by growers and producers.
M&S said its clothing and home arms were also impacted, with rocketing factory cost prices, transport and freight costs, combined with continued supply issues in China.