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Andy Bond signs up former George directors for new variety chain

Pep& Co founder and former Asda boss Andy Bond is to launch another variety chain in early 2016 with the backing of South African retail billionaire Christo Wiese, in a bid to conquer the UK value market.

The new business will focus on general merchandise and core ambient groceries, but will also sell Pep&Co clothing.

It will be based in Leeds and have a separate management team to Pep&Co, although the Pep&Co buying team will source its clothing.

Former George at Asda category director Koray Gul has been appointed managing director, while Simon Singleton, who has been working with Pep&Co, will be operations director. Singleton was formerly operations director at George and retail director at Republic.

The aim is to launch around 10 shops in the first half of 2016, starting in March. The stores will be around 10,000 sq ft in size and are likely to be in secondary locations, similar to that of Pep&Co.

The new venture, which has not yet been named, is expected to target locations that have not already been selected for the Pep&Co launch.

Poundstretcher finance director Roy Ellis has been appointed to the same role and former Poundworld buying director Daniel Donnelly is the sourcing director for the chain.

Pep&Co opened 50 stores from July to September throughout the UK and will rollout a similar number next year.

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