Alison Hands takes the reins as new CEO at Lincolnshire Co-op

Hands brings more than 33 years experience in retail to the society, which operates over 220 outlets

The new CEO at Lincolnshire Co-op, Alison Hands, has taken up her role at the helm of the independent retail society.

Hands has more than 33 years’ experience in a diverse mix of retail environments, including Marks and Spencer, the Body Shop, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Boots Opticians. She has most recently been managing director at Wilko.

Lincolnshire Co-op runs over 220 outlets including food stores and filling stations, pharmacies, post offices, funeral homes, travel agencies and a crematorium. The society is also active in development schemes, such as the Cornhill Quarter in Lincoln city centre and the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park.

During the coming weeks, Hands will be meeting colleagues from across business, as well as stakeholders which work closely alongside the society on development and community projects.

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She said: “I’m looking forward to spending time meeting my colleagues, seeing the diverse valued services we provide in action and further understanding how we deliver our purpose to make life better in communities.

“Lincolnshire Co-op is a successful values-driven organisation and I’m excited to work collectively alongside the team to continue to deliver for our area, develop our services and face the challenges of the future.”

Former CEO Ursula Lidbetter retired in December after 18 years with the society. Until now, chief financial officer Steve Galjaard has been acting CEO alongside his role.

Co-op chair David Cowell said: “We’re grateful to Steve, whose leadership has ensured a smooth transition for Alison and all our colleagues.

“We’re delighted to welcome Alison to Lincolnshire Co-op. She has a wealth of experience and a passion for what makes us a different type of business – our community and membership focus. We’re all looking forward to working together to ensure we continue to be a strong and successful business.”