Heart of England Co-operative appoints new general manager for food division

Steve Browne will have full responsibility for the strategic growth and day-to-day operations within the society’s network of 32 food stores.

The Heart of England Co-operative has announced Steve Browne as the new general manager of its food division. He will be replacing Peter Fletcher, who held the post for the past nine years.

Mr Browne will have full responsibility for the strategic growth and day-to-day operations within the society’s network of 32 food stores across Coventry, Warwickshire, South Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

Heart of England Co-operative recently revealed its half-yearly results, which showed a 7.27% growth in food sales on the previous year.

Mr Browne joins the society from McColl’s, where he was head of Convenience Store Format, overseeing 1,670 stores and, over the last 12 months alone, 12 refits. His retail journey started with training with the Co-operative Group in Northumberland between 2000 and 2003. While there, he went on to become a trainee manager, deputy store manager and store manager of a Northumberland store.

He has worked for a number of convenience chains, including Nisa (2007-2014) where his roles included national account manager, retail sales controller, head of Symbol Retail and retail operations director.

“I am delighted to be joining the Heart of England Co-operative Society,” said Mr Browne. “The move has come full circle for me, returning to a co-operative, where I started my training. I’ve effectively come home, and at a fantastic time not just for the co-operative movement as a whole, but for Heart of England itself, which is in the midst of an extremely buoyant acquisition strategy and a very heavy on-going development programme.”

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