New managing director for Co-operative Federal Retail and Trading Services

David McKnight joins the organisation from Tesco

The central buying group for co-operative retail societies in the UK – Co-operative Federal Retail and Trading Services (FRTS) – has appointed a new managing director.

David McKnight joins the organisation from Tesco, where he was strategy and trading director, leading commercial strategy across price, promotions and range, as well as the overall food trade and events plan. He had been with Tesco since 2002, first as category manager for healthcare, leading the buying for pharmacy, then as category director for grocery, impulse, health and beauty and household and pet food.

Mr Mcknight started his career with UniChem – completing a number of operational and buying roles across the wholesale and retail divisions, most latterly as medical buying controller.

He takes over the role from Richard Crampton, who left to join convenience retailer McColl’s as chief commercial officer.

Commenting on the appointment, Mr McKnight said: “I am delighted to be joining FRTS. Co-operation is key to this role, and something I believe is more relevant today than ever. I am really looking forward to working closely with the Co-op Group and all the independent retail societies. It is an exciting and unique opportunity which supports the success of the sector and the creation of value and real co-operative differences in our communities.”

John Coombs, FRTS chair, said: “We are delighted to announce David’s appointment. He brings a vast wealth of understanding and experience of UK and international grocery retailing to a role which is pivotal in ensuring societies work co-operatively to maximise scale and value. Combining the day-to-day operations with governance and strategic direction is key to underpinning, and building on, the success and strong growth performance that has been enjoyed by all UK co-op societies over the past five years.”

FRTS enables all the UK’s independent co-operative societies to work together to maximise scale. Through it, a commercial buying operation and separate logistics team, run by the Co-op Group in Manchester, provides the services for all the other societies on a shared cost basis.

The FRTS board comprises the CEOs of the eight largest UK societies; the Co-op; Central England; Midcounties; Southern; East of England; Lincolnshire; Scotmid and the Channel Islands.