The former chief executive of mutual grocery network Nisa, Neil Turton, has been appointed chief operating officer of Co-operatives UK.
Mr Turton joins the apex body for UK co-ops from March in a new position leading its operations and business development, and will work closely with secretary general Ed Mayo.
At Nisa, he worked in a range of senior roles over 23 years and was chief executive from 2007 to 2015. As a mutual owned by the 1,000 independent and often family-run stores it supplies, Nisa is a significant part of the convenience store sector.
During his time as CEO, Mr Turton led the revamp of Nisa’s own-label products, introduced new store formats, preserved Nisa’s mutual business model through several challenges it faced and successfully grew the business’s turnover from £989m to £1.6bn.
Of his new role, he said: “The co-operative sector is diverse, with major brands like the Co-op and Arla sitting alongside local community-owned pubs and football clubs.
“I know well, from my years at Nisa, the immense benefits that co-operative businesses large and small can bring to their members, and the chance to strengthen and grow the co-operative economy is one I look forward to with relish and enthusiasm.”
Welcoming the appointment, Mr Mayo said: “We are delighted to have recruited someone of Neil’s calibre.
“Not only will he bring operational know-how and commercial acumen, but his experience in the retail sector and leading a large mutual business make him the perfect candidate for this senior role.
“Neil’s addition will help us make an even bigger impact in supporting and advocating for co-ops across the country.”
Co-operatives UK’s new appointment
- He will focus on leading Co-operatives UK’s operations and business development
- As a retailer, he will bring commercial skills as well as senior management experience to a body which has retailers among its biggest members
- Began his career as trainee and then retail manager at Marks & Spencer from 1985-1991
- Moved to Nisa in 1991, serving as chief executive role from 2007-2015
- Served as joint managing director of retail research consultancy Him! International from April-October 2015
- Was trading and marketing director of My Local convenience chain from October 2015-June 2016
- Board member of Association of Convenience Stores since 2o1o
- Trustee and board member of humanitarian NGO Mines Advisory Group since 2013