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M&S bolsters retail operations team

Marks & Spencer has announced that it has added two new roles – property director and retail director – to its retail, operations and property leadership team. 

Helen Milford M&S

Director of retail on the management board at Sainsbury’s Argos, Helen Milford, has been appointed to the newly-created role of retail director. She will join the retailer in May this year.

will smith mand s

Milford will lead M&S’s 70,000 store colleagues and its four heads of division: Laura Mitchell (north) and Ken Sculley (Ireland), who were recently joined by Alex Hanson (central, from Arcadia) and Mark Henry (south, from Lidl). 

Meanwhile, former vice-president of real estate, facilities and market development at Asda, Will Smith, is joining the food and clothing retailer as property director. He is expected to join in “due course”.  Smith will look after the whole of M&S’s property function, including asset and estate management, acquisitions and disposals, construction delivery, and health and safety. 

The retailer said no one has left the business to make up for the two new roles. 

An M&S statement said: ”Whilst we have previously had retail directors & property directors, these roles are both bigger with broader remits.”

Milford and Smith will both report into Sacha Berendji, retail, operations and property director at M&S. 

“Building a store estate that’s fit for the future with industry-leading store operations and empowered colleagues is a key part of our transformation programme”, Berendji said. “We’re therefore adding two new roles to the retail, operations and property leadership team with Will Smith joining us as our property director and Helen Milford joining as retail director.

“Will Smith’s experience spans property, strategy and general management and he will drive forward our plans to create a store estate fit for the future. He will have accountability for every aspect of our property function including our newly formed asset management team and extensive property portfolio.

“Helen has an outstanding track record and she will be supported by two new heads of division with the right breadth and depth of experience to deliver our mission to be the best retail operator with the most engaged and empowered colleagues in UK retail.

“We are building a world-class team across M&S and I’m delighted to welcome Helen and Will to the business as we drive our transformation forward at scale and at pace.”

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